My father thanked me for looking after him before he died. And then he made me promise to take care of myself because without our health we have nothing.
Some of the key points covered in this module include the following:
It’s important to look after yourself to help you stay well while caregiving for another person.
- Whether you are caring for someone at home or providing occasional care in hospital or hospice, you will likely be handling several responsibilities. To help manage everything, consider making lists, both of daily tasks and people who might be able to help.
Consider possible resources you can turn to for help if you are thinking about taking time off work. This might include flexible work arrangements and provincial and federal programs to help with compassionate leave.
Make safety a priority for yourself as the person’s care needs change, including listening to your body’s cues and acquiring equipment to help with certain caregiving tasks (if needed).
Everyone feels stressed sometimes, but long or intense periods of stress can be extremely hard on your physical and mental health.
Anger is a natural and powerful emotion that impacts everyone in the situation. Understanding the reasons for anger and frustration is helpful, but it is also important to apply coping strategies and to keep your healthcare provider informed.
Sleep disturbances may be common for caregivers, but getting proper rest and sleep is essential. Find ways to get adequate sleep. Talk to your healthcare professional if you are having trouble with this.