Taking Care of Yourself as Caregiver
Remember that both the caregiver and the loved one have choices in how they approach their situation. Caregiving can be rewarding on many levels, but it can also be.challenging. It is hard to see someone you are caring for struggle with their health. In addition, caregiving can change families and sometimes lead to disagreements about how best to care for the patient. There can be great sadness, hopelessness feelings of aloneness. Caregivers can also experience much stress as the demands of caregiving take away leisure and personal time. It is not easy to stay positive despite a chronic progressive disease, but a good attitude Na sense or will do wonders for everyone involved!
If the patient and caregiver. can try to be kind to one another, to offer thanks for whatever thoughtfulness or efforts are offered, the burdens of all concerned can feel much lighter.
It's important to take the first step to improve the quality of life for both your loved one and yourself, and to find the support you need. By feeling better, you can help your loved one feel better.
Is Caregiving Putting Too Much Stress on You?
With so much time devoted to caregiving it can be easy to forget about yourself. It is also easy to overlook warning signs that you're under too much stress. Common signs of caregiver stress to watch for include:
- Feeling sad or worried
- Low energy level, feeling tired
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Gaining or losing weight
- Losing interest in hobbies or social activities
- Becoming easily angered
If You Feel Overwhelmed...
It's not unusual to feel overwhelmed as a caregiver. Talk to your family health care provider and/or clergy about your feelings. Try to take time to do something for yourself - whether it's a hobby, a phone call with a friend of just taking a long walk. Stay in touch with your friends and family members, and ask for help in giving care.
The COPD Foundation offers resources such as COPD360social, an online community where you can connect with patients and caregivers and talk to others who are living well with many of the same challenges you face. You can also call the COPD Information Line, a toll-free hotline for anyone seeking information or support on COPD. The information line operates Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM Eastern Time. You can call toll-free at 1-866-316-COPD (2673) to speak to an individual with COPD or caregiver. These types of activities will let you share your story and listen to others, like yourself, about how they are living with the disease.