If you have an aging parent, a spouse that is ill, or a disabled child, you’ve had sleepless nights, anxious days, and endless hours worrying about their care.
Caregiving is highly stressful and it brings uncertainty, worry, doubts. While home health care can be taxing, it can also be a very rewarding experience.
Many caregivers report that caring for a loved one is a beautiful process. It produces pride in themselves, strengthens familial relationships, and is gratifying to serve another.
Research and studies on caregivers and their home health care have shown some very effective ways that make caregiving easier. These are just six things you can do to make caregiving in your Louisville home easier for you.
1. Put your health first
You can’t look after anyone else if you can’t take care of yourself first. Start the night before by getting enough rest. Especially if your loved one requires hourly supervision, be sure you are sleeping as much as possible.
If necessary, consider bringing in additional home health care help for the night time shift so you can get adequate rest. You need to be at your best for your care receiver and you can’t do that if you’re constantly tired.
Plan and eat balanced and healthy meals. You can receive help with meals from family, friends, or a nutritional meal delivery service. Consider making meals ahead of time, and planning your grocery trip so you have fresh fruits and vegetables on hand instead of junky snacks.
Providing home health care can be an emotional roller coaster, so while a hot fudge sundae might be a good stress relief, don’t rely on food as a coping mechanism.
Find time to exercise. An at-home yoga DVD or a quick walk outside before your loved one wakes up in the morning can do wonders for the body. Find small snippets of time that you can focus on yourself to be energized and fit to care for another.
2. Get educated about their condition
Learn as much as you can about the condition your loved one is living with. Learn about their complete medical history, their current conditions, and what to expect in the future.
It is important that you understand both present and future medical needs so you can be prepared for any home health care emergency. Discuss openly with your Louisville doctors and nurses so you understand what is needed.
Discount Medical Supplies can help find the best home health care supplies and equipment right here in Louisville, KY. We work with thousands of families and can help you find everything you need from the best medical bandages to the most comfortable mobility scooters
3. Get help with home health care
Regardless of how hard you try, you can’t do this journey alone, and you shouldn’t be expected to.
Caregiving is a long, emotional, and physically taxing process. It is something that should be handled by a team of loving and attentive members who love you and your family.
Gather friends, family, caregivers, and professionals to create a team you can rely on.
Family: Other family members can be an invaluable asset to sit with your loved one, handle their personal needs, and give you time to step away and focus on yourself. Allow others to help when they offer. They can also be a good resource for you to talk about how you’re feeling, share this experience with those closest to you so it is a strengthening journey rather than a lonely one.
Friends: Your Louisville neighbors and friends are always eager to help, but usually aren’t sure how. When people offer to help, ask them for things that you need. It can be wonderful to have meals brought in, help with the laundry, or have someone run a quick errand for you. Volunteers are nice, too!
Professional Services: Professional services may be available in your area that can provide much-needed relief. Look for grocery or meal delivery services in the Louisville area, professional house cleaning services to assist with daily chores, and have home care supplies delivered to your door from Discount Medical Supplies.
Medicare: Check which equipment, supplies, and services can be covered by Medicare.
These small conveniences can add up quickly to make your job a lot easier.
4. Learn coping strategies for caregivers
For most caregivers, the early stages start with being very attentive, overprotective, and stressed.
Over time, after caring for someone day in and day out over an extended period of time, other emotions can surface.
All of your feelings, good or bad, are valid and important.
Some caregivers become drained very quickly, others can grow to be frustrated, bitter, overwhelmed, or angry.
Most caregivers are reluctant to admit and express any negative feelings, but we understand how you feel. It important to learn coping strategies for all of your emotions.
Leaving them unchecked can lead to poor sleep, stress eating, substance abuse, irritation, and resentment. Forgive yourself and find ways to express how you feel to a group of supportive people.
5. Be realistic
Sometimes reality can be the hardest part of caregiving. Understanding if there is no cure or no recovery possibilities requires your preparation and acceptance.
Expecting the impossible only leads to greater heartache. It is important to understand the reality, rather than assume you can create a miracle on your own with home health care.
It’s also important to be realistic about your own personal limits and needs. Sometimes there may be needs you simply can’t fill.
Accepting that you can no longer carry your loved one up or down stairs and understanding it’s time for a stair lift or mobility scooter can be difficult, but being realistic about their condition and your abilities can allow you to help provide the home care supplies they need.
6. Be prepared for home health care
As a caregiver, you work hard to provide a better quality of life nurturing a strong family bond through love and service.
You can’t always control the road ahead, but you can use the resources and service through home health care from Discount Medical Supplies.
Some of the most popular equipment for home health that make your job easier and our professional grade selection of scooters, diagnostic supplies, and home safety products.
- Mobility Scooter – No more pushing a wheelchair. Scooters are often a welcome relief to many caregivers and patients. Give yourself a break and give your loved one a sense of independence so they no longer feel like a burden and allow them to take some control back in their life
- Diagnostic Supplies – Having basic medical supplies on hands gives you confidence in caring for your loved ones so you can keep track of vitals and certain medical levels like a hospital would. Our professional diagnostic supplies give you critical information so you know can monitor health and know when immediate action is needed.
- Pain Management – We carry a wide range of pain management including topical creams, ointment, and TENS electrotherapy to help bring patients back to a level of comfort.
- Home Safety – Remove hazards in your home so you and your loved one can live comfortably knowing they are safe. We have a wide range of products for the home and bathroom to prevent falls and encourage independence including bath benches, urinals, bed risers and lift chairs.
Being a caregiver is one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences of your life. Caring for another day after day is a selfless act of enduring love, but it’s not meant to be handled alone.
Discount Medical Supplies understands the burdens of home health care and we provide everything you need to make each day a little bit easier. Contact us today and we can walk through the process with you to become a partner in your caregiving journey.