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Thursday, October 5, 2017

How to Be a Strong Caregiver When Someone in Your Family Falls Ill - s post

Accidents, sickness, and ailments are part of being a parent, despite our best intentions and precautions. When children or your spouse falls ill, it is left to the last parent standing to take care of the others. And the stress, if not prepared for such an event, can take an emotional and physical toll. But having coping strategies and a plan in place will help you weather the storm without succumbing to the stress that such events often bring.

Here are some tips that will help you be a good caregiver to your sick child or spouse all while staying on an even keel.

1. Consider if you need outside help.

Parents are used to fixing problems and being the person their kids can turn to when they have questions or need help. When your children are sick, all your instincts to nurture will be on overdrive. It is natural to want to spend every waking moment at your sick family member’s sickbed. And when you do take time away to do other necessary things, you may be plagued with guilt. Consider hiring a home health care service to step in if the sickness looks like it will take longer than a week for full recovery. Depending on the accident or illness, your sick family member may benefit from professional help. Or see if a family relative can come and help for a time.

2. Understand that this will be an emotional time for all.

Being sick is no fun for anyone. And if the sick family member is of a young age, it can be especially trying. Your child may cry, which will likely cause you to feel helpless and overwhelmed. At these moments, it is helpful to gain perspective by understanding that being sick is an emotionally trying time for all. Everyone's nerves are frayed. Expect that at some point you or your sick family member might lose your temper, feel impatient, or out of sorts. These feelings are to be expected. Understanding this will help you be more forgiving of yourself and those affected by the illness.

3. Find a way to keep calm.

Finding 30 minutes where you can take a walk, call a friend, or drink a cup of coffee away from the sick room will go far to soothe your nerves. Doing so will allow you to be that calm presence your sick child or spouse needs. Figure out what can be arranged so that you can take a short daily break. If the illness is long term, then this becomes doubly important to do.

4. Manage your fears and feelings of overwhelm.

Fear and overwhelm are common emotional responses when a parent finds themselves taking care of a sick family member. These emotions, however, are not very productive and can take a toll on your overall health and well-being. How can you manage your fears in a productive way? Fight fear with knowledge. Learn everything you can about your child's sickness. Talk with other parents who have gone through the same situation you are in now. When you are actively doing something, your fear has less room to breathe and cause you anxiety.

For feelings of overwhelm, remember the first point on this list: Ask for help. Whether from your family, or through hiring a caregiver. Now is also not the time to say yes to putting more on your plate at work. Simplify your life as much as possible so that the number of decisions you need to make is reduced. You can always readjust your priorities down the line when things return to normal, but for now cut the non-essential.

5. Keep to a schedule.

Even though your child is sick, both you and he or she will benefit from sticking to a daily schedule. While the time might not be broken into school hours anymore, you can still have a plan of ways to pass the time. For example, in the morning, your child reads or studies (if possible, depending on the sickness), and in the afternoon a time slot for gaming or TV. Prepare fun things to do each day so that your sick family member has something to look forward to. With your spouse, or with your children, brainstorm ideas of activities your children can do while in bed to help pass the time.


Keep in mind, the stronger you are – both physically and emotionally – the better-quality care you will be able to give to your sick family member. 





9 comments:

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