I am sure at one point or another you have had to help one of your family members to some extent, for me when I had just left school my Dad unfortunately became acutely unwell, and he still to this day is unable to get about without the help of my step-mum.
Having seen that situation first hand I think it is important not only to help your family through these though times but to take stock and ensure you are taking care of yourself at the same time. In order to do this you must regularly review your own well-being. Here are my top tips for surviving as a carer:
In my day job I have the opportunity to audit carer data, as such it is clearly apparent that there are numerous unidentified carers out there. Unfortunately the downside to this is those carers do not have access to service that could help them cope not just with day to day things but with contingency planning, such as main carers being admitted into hospital, this can leave vulnerable people looking after themselves. Along with identifying yourself you will also be entitled to influenza vaccination to ensure you are well to keep on caring for your loved one.
Keep up your Social Interaction
You can soon become isolated as a carer so it is important you keep yourself social even if you are only setting aside just a small amount of time regularly it can really benefit you in the long term. I think if you can accept help then the option of utilising respite care can be a great opportunity for you to recharge your batteries ensuring you reduce stress levels. Looking for groups like carers outreach can put you in touch with like minded people so you do not have to feel alone!
In order to ensure you can effectively keep up good care levels your need to make sure you are looking after yourself physically as well as mentally, I found setting health goals worked well with both. For me opting for a 30 minute a day stint on a rowing machine really helped me keep on track.
These are just a few notes to keep you surviving as a carer, it can be very hard to admit you need help sometimes but everyone needs a break and it is far better to have this planned than for your to fall foul of any unscheduled issues.