Stepping into the role of caregiver can often be difficult, and at times, overwhelming.
All too often, caregivers begin neglecting their own health when caring for the health of others.
This is why it is extremely important for caregivers to figure out what they need to maintain their own health and well-being while serving in this role, such as physical activity or quiet ‘me’ time each day.
It is essential for caregivers to seek support—from family, friends and/or other individuals or families in the community also going through similar situations.
It is also important to communicate with the person you are giving care to; enlist them as a team member to get through the obstacles you all are facing.
Having some form of structure and control throughout the process can also help to manage a caregiver’s stress level, such as carving out time to have breakfast and plan out the day each morning.
Caregivers should pay close attention to any exhaustion, changes in appetite, sleeping patterns, and emotional changes they are experiencing, as these are all signs of stress overload, and have a negative effect to their well-being.
If you or someone you know that is currently serving as a caregiver is beginning to experience these signs, it is important to discuss this with your primary care physician or seek out support services at your local health system.
Cone Health has an exceptional network of spirituality and support services offering support to individuals throughout the community who are struggling with the difficult responsibilities that often come with caregiving.
Patricia Wright is the chaplain at Cone Health’s Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville.
Wright received a Bachelor of Science from UNCG and a Master of Arts in theological studies from Houston Graduate School of Theology.
She received her Clinical Pastoral Education from Cone Health and has been the staff chaplain at Annie Penn Hospital for 8 years.