Are you a caregiver for someone in your family? For a friend? You may not think this is a job in the traditional sense (rather, it’s more of a responsibility you feel is yours), but it should be treated like a job. If you don’t, the senior or other adult who depends on you could find themselves in a difficult situation.
As a caregiver, you may also deal with some of your own personal health issues, such as asthma. May is Asthma Awareness Month and this condition affects millions of people around the world, sometimes on a daily basis. Whether your asthma is so serious that you need an inhaler with you at all times or a bit milder, one thing is critical to keep in mind: as a caregiver, you need time to take care of yourself, too.
This is what too many caregivers fail to do.
In truth, family caregivers often put themselves dead last when it comes to caring for their health and well-being. They see this as their responsibility, their job. They might even feel guilty if they consider not stepping up for this aging loved one.
Yet, if you don’t take care of yourself, you run an increasing risk of facing a serious health crisis of your own. That could leave you unable to not only be able to care for yourself, but that person already depending on you.
Asthma is a serious condition that can constrict your lungs and make it difficult to breathe. In some more serious cases, a person with asthma could require emergency care in order to be able to breathe at all.
Too often, though, caregivers put themselves last and don’t think about how their actions could affect them or someone else. Imagine rushing around, running on little to no sleep for days on end, and suddenly facing a serious attack.
You can’t breathe. Your heart rate ramps up. Your lungs, already desperate for any air, are called on to produce even more oxygen for your heart that’s pumping faster and faster. Soon, you could face a moment of serious crisis (as though this scenario isn’t serious enough).
You could have been on your way to stop by your elderly mother’s house to help her out of bed, to go to an appointment, or somewhere else. Now, not only are you facing a potentially devastating health crisis of your own, what will happen to that senior?
It’s time to rely on extra support.
You don’t have to continue on this road alone. You don’t. You can take action, step up, and do what’s necessary to take care of yourself. Rely on a local home care agency to assist your mother a few days a week.
You wouldn’t need to hire them for more than a couple of hours at a time, either. Just a couple of hours one or two days a week to start could be more than enough to help you control your asthma, take better care of yourself, and stay healthy… so you can continue to support this aging senior in your life.