Tips for family caregivers
Informal care is care that is given to a needy by one or more members of his immediate environment in which the care arises directly out of the social relationship outside the context of a caring profession.
That means that caregivers care for a chronically ill, disabled or frail partner, parent, child or other family member, friend or acquaintance for a long time and they are not paid for it.
Caregivers provide care because they have a personal relationship with the person for whom they care.
As a family caregiver, you may find yourself facing a host of new responsibilities, many of which are unfamiliar or intimidating. At times, you may feel overwhelmed and alone. But despite its challenges, caregiving can also be rewarding. And there are a lot of things you can do to make the caregiving process easier for both you and your loved one.
Remember: do not only take care of your loved one, but also take care of yourself!
- Find time for your own relaxation. Let someone take over the caring and go do something fun.
- Research together with the person with brain injury what he or she cannot do anymore. Take these impossibilities seriously. Search from there what he or she still can do (search for the possibilities).
- Use gestures or verbal prompts to remind the person that he or she looks at you, in case of wandering thoughts.
- In case of arguing, ask yourself whether language has been taken literally. See also communication tips.
- If there is an argument with irritation or aggression, see if the person with brain injury was either overstimulated, or needed to perform above his or her ability.
- Be honest to your surroundings and indicate what is no longer possible. Find solutions together.
- Explain to the children that it's not their fault when the brain affected parent reacts angrily. "You did not do anything wrong!" See also our page "siblings" for practical advice for children who are involved in the family of a braininjured.
- The brain injured person often does not notice that he / she is shortchanging you.
The following websites (created in the U.S.) aim to help you fulfill your task:
National alliance for caregiving
National family caregiver support program