Proverbs 11:25—A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Caregivers are those who give care to others; some for family and some who are called to care professionally. For the purpose of this post, caregivers are broken down into two categories, those who care for others by profession and those who care for family.
It is with a humble heart when I say to be a caregiver by profession takes a very special and called person. This is not an easy job. As caregivers could be caring for someone handicapped, those who are home and constant care and those who are elderly. There are patients who are thankful for the job you do and others who can make the days difficult.
As a caregiver for a family member or close friend you have not taken this roll by choice but by necessity. This roll is very emotional for most family caregivers. Your closeness to the person you care for creates a vulnerability that those who do this as a profession do not usually have. The person you care for may be a parent, a spouse or an adult child thus changing your role and relationship with them. There are emotionally changes between you and them. Your relationship with the person you are caring for starts out with love and a deep connection; whereas those who give care by profession often grow to care very deeply for the patient.
Whether you do this professionally or for family this can often be a thankless and stressful job. Finding and taking time to rejuvenate yourself is vitally important for yourself and the person you are caring for. There are some caregivers who do not live with their patient or family member. They have the opportunity to step away from everything to do with caring for that individual; for live-ins they have to carve out the time. Being a caregiver can be similar to that of a parent, there are just some things that you can’t get done unless the child or patient is asleep. As a caregiver by profession you should have scheduled time off each week, but I am aware that this is not always the case. If you do have scheduled time off then make this time about you Take the time to recharge your batteries, rejuvenate yourself in ways that work for you. If you are a live-in caregiver you may not have a hoe base to go to but you still have options. Make arrangements with family or friends that have a spare room yo can call your own or find an affordable hotel to stay in. Your goal is to make this time about you and your needs. When you are caring for a family member you share a home with you would need to have another family member or friend to come stay while you are out. Since this is a 24/7 caring job you may consider scheduling the same time each week to go and do any errands and shopping then add at least 1 1/2 hours of ‘you time’.
Remember as a caregiver, in any circumstance, if you are not at your best physically, mentally, or emotionally you are not able to give your best to the one you care for. You must take time for yourself to recharge and rejuvenate on a regular basis.
Above all trust God to give you strength and wisdom when you need it. (Matthew 7:7-8)
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Father God, Thank you for caregivers whether by choice or by need they place another’s need above their own. Please guide them and help them see they must take care of themselves too. i pray they come to you for strength, for wisdom and for rest. AMEN