The responsibility of caring for loved ones may be difficult at times—especially if you’re providing home care services to an individual or family member living with a mental health condition. It can also be hard to maintain a healthy mental balance as a caregiver, providing care to a loved one day in and day out.
Read on for some tips on how to create a healthy, comfortable environment for your loved one that accommodates their mental health needs, as well as advice for caregivers hoping to keep themselves mentally healthy.
Caring for a loved one living with a mental health condition
The first step is to learn more about the individual’s mental health condition. Educate yourself on the type of condition and its symptoms, with input from the recipient of care. The same condition doesn’t always show up in the exact same way, so it’s important you learn about what’s unique to the individual.
You can also try reading websites, books, and forums, or reach out to online mental health support groups for more information.
Secondly, it’s important to establish limitations and expectations with an individual or family member. Talk about everything you’re able to or unable to assist them with and remember to always stick to these expectations.
Understanding confidentiality is also vital. Some medical professionals may not be able to share certain information with caregivers regarding their clients. It’s important to discuss with the recipient of care what information they feel comfortable sharing with you to help you perform your responsibilities better and stick to those boundaries.
Finally, severe cases of certain mental illnesses may carry some risk factors for caregivers. If you ever feel unsafe or threatened, it’s important to remove yourself from the situation and call 911 for immediate assistance.
How to create a wellness routine
When it comes to family caregiver support tips, routine is one of the most important things to remember. Everyone’s routine is different, but by establishing a regular and easy to manage daily routine, you can make sure that mental health-boosting activities occur each and every day.
Here are a few examples of things to include:
- Regular light exercise, ideally outside
- Spend time on fun activities, like board games, or inject humor into everyday tasks
- Try one new thing each week, like visiting a new coffee shop or trying a new food
- Maintain contact with other loves ones, either in person or via video calls
How Best Care can help
Of course, it’s also vital to remember caregiver mental health support. You can’t take care of a loved one if you yourself are not feeling your best! Make sure you set some time aside every day to unwind and spend time with friends who are separate from your caregiving duties. A couple of hours a day to forget about the stresses of work can do wonders for your well-being!
Caregiver mental health is a huge factor in providing the best home care possible. For your own good and the good of those around you, it’s important to take care of yourself, first.
At Best Care, we work to provide services, resources, and programs to support family caregivers in the Twin Cities and around Minnesota. Learn how our team can help you by reaching out to a member of our staff, today!