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Care from the Heart

Originally published in the Apple valley Scoop Issue 27 (May 2011) by Nancy Blezy RN, Nurse Manager, Careforce Health Services

May is Family Caregiver’s Appreciation month. Think of your dreams for tomorrow, for the future. Do they include caring for a family member with an illness? For many the reality they are living as a family caregiver is very different from their dreams. If this is your life, Careforce salutes you and recognizes the hero that you are.

Taking care of someone can be very rewarding – it can also be very stressful. It takes an incredible amount of energy and can leave one feeling “burned out” or fatigued in the role. Physical, mental and emotional exhaustion can cause changes in attitude – from positive and encouraging to negative and uncaring. Guilt, anger, frustration, anxiety and depression are frequent emotions that caregivers admit to experiencing. This job is so difficult that some refer to caregivers as “hidden patients”. If you don’t take care of yourself and stay well, you won’t be able to help anyone else. Learn to know and recognize the following signs of stress in yourself so you can take action when and as needed.

To continue giving care, it is essential that you look after yourself. The following are some suggestions to help you maintain your health and wellbeing.

If you or someone you know are overwhelmed by care giving responsibilities, making the choice to care for yourself is the best thing you can do for the person you care for. Careforce has trained, reliable and responsible staff to provide you with the break you need. Call Nancy or Kim for details. 365-3155