7. Be a Team
Providing any level of care for someone with COPD is an intense job. Doing it alone puts you at risk. Accept help and assistance often, even if it is uncomfortable for you. If none has been offered, use your best assertive communication to ask for help.
Asking for help does not mean you are failing. The only failure is allowing yourself to suffer. If you continue to be denied, it may be time for professional help in the form of visiting nurses or a changed living situation.
This is not giving up. It is, in fact, a commitment to provide best level of care for your loved one. You deserve it and they deserve it.
8. Beware of Burnout
Burnout is a major concern for anyone dealing with the COPD of a loved one. Overexerting yourself and draining all of your physical, emotional and financial resources caring for others cause burnout.
Even if you follow these tips precisely, caregiver burnout can still walk into your life. Burnout can bring symptoms of depression and anxiety as feelings of worry or powerlessness intensify.
Track yourself and your symptoms. Sleep, diet and exercise will be good indicators of your burnout level. Look for extremes and drastic changes.
For example, if you sleep for 14 hours on the weekend and only four hours during the week, depression could be an issue. Additionally, if eating makes you nauseous, anxiety may be taking its toll.
Burnout prevention is crucial because once the burnout begins, coming back is quite difficult.
9. Find Therapy
You are taking care of your loved one. Who is taking care of you? Just as finding alternative assistance for your loved one is not an admittance of failure, seeking therapy for yourself is not a failure.
Any time you can accurately identify your needs, you are taking the appropriate step. A therapist can work with you to modify your thoughts, feelings and behaviors to improve your wellbeing.
Therapy can offer you a break from your daily routine while providing an opportunity to reflect on your life. This break can provide a much-needed change in perspective and renewed hope.
Being a caregiver to anyone with a chronic medical condition is a task whose importance is only matched by its difficulty. Consider the above options as a guide to maintaining your physical and mental health in the face of your loved one’s illness. Make self-preservation your goal to ensure health and happiness for those around you.