With May and our focus on Mental Health drawing to a close, here is a summary of the four coping strategies discussed so far:

  • It is important to understand your emotions
  • Avoid enabling
  • Establish Expectations
  • Use learned communication tools

The last two coping strategies are  crucial to assist you with potential home carer burnout.

Looking after an ill partner/family member is a brave and sometimes thankless situation you may find yourself in and in order for you to be effective in your role – it is essential that you:,

“Give yourself permission for self-care”.

Once you have managed to free more time by not enabling, It is important to give yourself permission to take a break from caregiving. Self-Care is time spent on yourself so as to be able to “recharge your batteries.” It is okay to remember and to enjoy how you use to have fun, pamper yourself, indulge in your hobbies etc.

Yes, your loved one is not well and yes, you are able to take a break from caring for them all the time.

Your self-care break is essential for you to be able to continue your care role effectively. Start with small. things, give yourself permission to enjoy one simple thing, whether it’s a short walk in the fresh air, sitting in the bathroom meditating, or spending a little time with a friend.

Do not be so hard on yourself “YOU DESERVE IT”.

The last coping strategy we shall share is vital and that is to:

“Get Help If You Are Near The Edge”.

It is a role to assist your loved one in supporting them during their ill health and to keep them safe if they are not able to manage by themselves.

It is NOT necessary a role for life and often, one requires help – especially when you feel you are out of your depth in the situation.

Help is two-fold, practical and emotional.

Practically, A-Motus is able to assist you with a supportive carer who can aid you in caring for your loved one.

We are also able to advise on various emotional supportive channels – private consultants and supportive groups – You are not alone and we care for you.

An example of a supportive channel profile is of an outreach counsellor, Lorna Quinn who is a qualified counsellor with over 10 years’ experience providing support to all people whose lives have been affected by caregiver burnout, grief and loss, depression and general stress. Lorna also has various Dementia and other Family Carer support groups. Contact details: 082 456 5692 or email: lornaquinn@telkomsa.net.