When someone that you love has a developmental disability, their life may feel more difficult in general. As that person’s caregiver, it falls to you to make lots of decisions about that person’s life and surroundings. If you’re not careful, caregiving can take a big toll on you and on the entire family.
Learn as Much as You Can
Information is always a powerful tool. The more that you know and understand about your family member’s developmental disabilities, the more powerful an advocate you can be on her behalf. Talk to your family member’s doctors and do as much research as you can on your own. Every new bit of information that you add to your arsenal strengthens your abilities as a caregiver.
Take Care of Yourself So You Can Keep Being a Caregiver
Caregiving is incredibly demanding, both physically and emotionally. When you’re taking the best care of yourself that you possibly can, you’re making caregiving easier on yourself. Make sure that you’re doing all that you can do in order to keep yourself going as a caregiver. That might mean making some small and large changes to how you eat, how you prioritize sleep, and how often you take breaks to allow yourself to recharge.
Get Support for Yourself and Your Family Member
You need to make sure that you’ve got the emotional and general support that you need. It’s also vital that your family member has the support that she needs. Services like residential habilitation services, or RHS, can give your family member the support she needs. RHS can help your family member to develop skills that allow her to be more independent, like learning to cook simple meals or run errands with help. Other goals may be possible, too, depending on your family member’s existing skillset.
Keep Your Entire Family in Mind
When you’re a caregiver for someone who needs a lot of your time and attention, you may find that you’re spending disproportionate amounts of time with certain situations. It’s vital to make sure that all members of the family feel as if they’re important and equally cared for. This might mean that you take some time to plan special get togethers with family members individually and with the family as a whole.
Making sure that everyone in the family has what they need is a delicate balancing act. Getting the help that each of you need is crucial and isn’t a step you can overlook.
If you are considering residential habilitation in Lawrence, IN, please call the caring staff at RSI Cares. Serving Greater Indianapolis Area. Call for Immediate Info & Assistance: 317-471-0750.