The idea of taking care of yourself when you are also a caregiver can be rather difficult. In a lot of ways, during this time, you sometimes put yourself lower down on the line and make sure everyone else is happy and safe. I know that for me, making sure that I take time for me hasn’t been something that I’ve been doing very regularly in the past. I have been a caregiver, first for my dad and now my mom. Note, neither of them has lived with me, but I am the one that they have turned to for assistance, and I’m also the one that takes them to all their medical appointments.
Being a caregiver can take so many different roles, it can be the person that lives with the person needing help, or it can be a person that is there whenever the phone rings. I am the person that is there whenever the phone rings and there to make sure that all the appointments have been kept and everything else is maintained at a level needed. I know this time is so different from the other journey we were on, but again, being a caregiver is the same in a lot of ways. The caregiver does give up a lot of their own time and energy to make sure that the other one is safe and taken care of.
During this time, I decided I am going to make sure that I do take some time for myself, even if it just little bits of time each day. Personal care means making sure you take the time to recharge your own batteries, both mentally and physically. Being sure that you take the breaks away and give some of the responsibility to someone else is important. Also, sharing some of the tasks and responsibilities is a good idea so that not everything is on one person.
I have been doing quite a bit of reading about dementia and being a caregiver for someone with dementia and one of the key things that they always say make sure you take time for yourself. Taking time for yourself is something that is very important, otherwise you were going to end up burnt out not being there for that person that really needs your help.