Caring for someone who is dependent on you is a big responsibility. It is realistic, not selfish, for carers to think about their own health and to arrange support.
After all, if you don’t look after yourself you run the risk of becoming so stressed or exhausted that you are no longer able to care for your loved one. You may need to pay more attention to healthy eating and being physically active.
Take care of your back
As a carer, you may find that lifting the person you care for and helping them dress or move around may place a strain on your back.
It may be impossible to avoid lifting and moving, but you can get advice that may reduce the risk of injury. There are also ways to minimise strain by using equipment and other support.
Ask your GP, Occupational Therapist or Social Services to advise on lifting, turning or moving aids. These may include:
- Lifting equipment such as a hoist
- Mobility aids
- Bath aids
- Grab rails beside the bed or toilet
- Swivel car seat cushion
When you are ill
Carers tend to carry on regardless through colds, coughs, headaches, stomach upsets, flu and worse, but don’t put off seeing your doctor if your own ill health persists.
Even with a minor illness, try to take some extra rest. Your body will have a better chance of making a quick recovery and there will be less chance of complications.
Ask friends and family to lend a hand until you are well again.