Embracing a Healthy Relationship
Caregiving means giving love and attention with pure intentions. Good caregivers know that caring for and protecting others is more than just being there and trying to fix their problems. Caregivers, first and foremost, know how to balance their loved one’s autonomy with their efforts to provide optimal care.
Caregivers tend to be attuned to the needs of others, often putting those needs before their own lives. Yet, they must also be mindful not to attract needy people who may take advantage of their kindness. A good caregiver respects the limits that the person in need puts forward and knows when to stop or continue offering help for their greater good. Caregivers also can empathize and understand their “patients” as a result of the desire of helping the person who requires aid.
You will know you're a good caregiver if you
- Have patience: Being patient implies recognizing that plans may change, issues could arise, things may not go as expected, and that the person receiving care may sometimes show hesitancy or resistance.
- Are trustworthy: A good caregiver knows how to create bridges with others by showing how trustworthy he or she is.
- Respect boundaries: A good caregiver won’t suffocate others when attempting to take care of them. They respect the person they are helping and, if possible, can step back as requested by their recipient.
Tips for Becoming a Better Caregiver
If you think you need to improve the way you deal with helping others, don’t worry: The first step is accepting that you need to improve, so you are actually on the right track!
Becoming a better caregiver is a never-ending journey, as there are always new ways to evolve your communication skills, stress management methods, and how to best approach your relationship with your care recipient.
Self care and your own needs
It is of crucial importance to practice self care. This means taking time for ourselves, seeking professional help when needed, and learning to set boundaries. It's about understanding that we can't pour from an empty cup, and that taking care of ourselves is not selfish, but necessary.
Here are some tips to take your caregiving to the next level
- Learn to listen to the person you are taking care of.
- Be open to talking about what makes you uncomfortable.
- Don’t assume anything; it’s always better to ask for clarification. Learn to relax and clear your mind before stress takes a toll on you.
- Aim to make the person that you’re caring for feel more autonomous and independent; if they can do something by themselves, let them do it!
Final Thoughts: Caretaking vs Caregiving
Understanding the difference between caretaking and caregiving is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships and practicing self-care. It's about recognizing our roles and responsibilities, and ensuring we don't lose ourselves in the process of caring for others.
Whether you're a caregiver or a caretaker, remember that you're not alone. There are resources available to help you navigate this journey, like Hero's medication management service. This award-winning smart dispenser can store, sort, and dispense up to ten of your care recipient’s meds, making your role a little easier.