Mental Health

How to Protect Your Mental Health When Caring for a Loved One Full-Time

Looking after a loved one when they need you most can be a rewarding yet challenging role. Whether you’re caring for an elderly relative, a disabled child or a partner with ill health, you’ll need to take your own well-being into account when you’re providing practical and emotional support to others. With this in mind, take a look at these three top tips for protecting your mental health when caring for a loved one full-time:

1. Build a Support Network

As a full-time caregiver, you’re likely to undertake a wide range of tasks. As well as providing your loved one with companionship, you may assist them with getting around if they have mobility issues, for example, or help them with self-care if they struggle to complete tasks independently. However, no-one can do everything all of the time, which is why it’s essential to have a support network in place.

From relying on other family members to keep your home clean and tidy to using delivery services to drop groceries to your door, there are many ways that you can create your own support network and reduce the pressure when you’re a full-time caregiver.

2. Arrange Respite Care

When you’re looking after a loved one, it can be hard to find time for yourself, particularly if they require a high level of support. However, failing to take regular breaks can be damaging to both your physical and emotional health. Fortunately, respite care provides a viable and safe solution.

With custom respite care from Monarch Communities, for example, your loved one can access the round-the-clock support they need, while you get a much-earned break from caregiving duties. From nursing and physical therapy to activities and socialization, the right type of respite care can be beneficial for everyone.

3. Seek Financial Assistance

Money worries can have a negative impact on your mental health at any time, but financial stress can be exacerbated if you’re providing long-term care for a loved on. If you’ve given up your career, for example, you may have little to no income, which could put you in a precarious situation when it comes to your finances.

However, many people are unaware that you can actually get paid when acting as a caregiver to a family member. The Medicaid Self-Directed Care Program is just one way to obtain financial assistance as a caregiver for a relative but other options, such as the Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services program or even long-term care insurance plans can deliver the same benefits.

Prioritizing Your Well-Being as a Caregiver

It’s not unusual for caregivers to feel guilty when they take time for themselves or ask for help, but there’s no need to feel this way. Providing on-going care to a loved one can be a difficult and emotionally taxing role and understanding the mental and physical impact it has will enable you to prioritize your own well-being too. By doing so, you’ll be able to provide the best care possible to your family member and maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle.

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