Taking Care of Yourself is one of the Most Important Things You Can Do as a Caregiver.
Caregiving is not easy for anyone at any time, not for the caregiver or for the care recipient. There are sacrifices and adjustments for everyone, and when you don’t live where the care is needed, it may be especially hard to feel that what you are doing is important and enough.
Caregiving (even from a distance) is likely to bring out many different emotions, both positive and negative. During these unprecedented times, feeling frustrated and angry with everyone from the person you’re caring for, to the person in the drive-through window is a common experience. Feeling physically exhausted, guilty, worried, anxious, and jealous of others is also common.
Many long-distance caregivers find that concerns about being able to take time off work, being away from a loved one, or the cost of travel worsens the negative emotions. These feelings are shared by many others so you are not alone. You can only do what you can do and it’s important to remember that you are doing the best you can.
Nearly 15 million Americans provide unpaid care to an older adult, and caregivers who provide substantial care are more likely to have physical and emotional health problems. Although prevalent, negative feelings can also be a sign that you are overwhelmed or that you are trying to do too much. Give yourself a break: Make sure you’re eating healthy, being active, and taking time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: A Geriatric Care Manager can assess your elder loved ones needs, provide solutions to problems, plan for the future, manage everyday care, and provide support during times of crisis.