Coronavirus Last updated on 2021-05-17 12:51:57
7 Tips For Caregivers During The COVID-19 Pandemic
- Dr. Sreelekha Daruvuri
- 3 Min Read
- Fact Checked
The COVID-19 pandemic has been part of the world’s narrative for over a year now, and the strain it has put on many is undeniable. While we feel for those that have contracted the virus, and those that have lost their lives, it’s also important to give importance to the health of those taking care of the ill. Caregivers, too, work on the frontlines! There is a lot to be said about the strength and patience it takes to care for your loved ones - especially in this time of uncertainty.
Not all COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, some are advised treatment through homecare. If you, or someone you know is a caregiver for someone, here are some tips that could help caregivers take care of themselves as well.
Educate yourself with facts
This is a scary time for everyone, and through the panic there is a lot of misinformation being spread around. While you’re taking care of a COVID-19 positive patient, listening to unverified medical rumors could be harmful to your mental state and even dangerous to health, if followed. Besides referring all your questions to medical professionals, learn and read information from relevant sources such as the World Health Organization. Peace of mind is key during treatment and recovery, so if you as a caregiver is calm, it could go a long way for the patient you are caring for.
Take time for your mental health
Feeling stressed, anxious or depressed while taking care of an ill patient is a very real thing. It isn’t “made up”, it’s normal and the exhaustion is undeniable. During this time, it’s vital that you care for your mental health - whether it’s that you speak to a professional or try ways such as yoga, and meditation to help you breathe calmer. You’d be surprised how much good a 30 min walk can do for your emotional well being!
Don’t feel guilty
Taking care of a COVID-19 patient comes with it’s own risks - there is a chance that you may contract the virus as well. While safety precautions such as mask shields and suits are used to help, if you get sick, it’s not your fault. Don’t feel guilty for having to step back from caring for someone, to care for yourself. You can only help others, if you’re healthy. If you or someone you know has any of the COVID-19 symptoms, contact a healthcare professional online immediately for next steps for testing and treatment.
Take a breather
While taking care of a patient is a huge responsibility, the weight can be unbearable at times. Take a break, ask someone to help you fill in for a few hours if you can. Your life doesn’t necessarily have to come to a halt. Indulge in your hobbies and your happiness for a few hours a week. Stay in touch with your loved ones, and keep involved with your life.
Ask for help
Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to see someone go through pain and suffering. At times, you may feel helpless. There isn’t a manual to get through a viral pandemic, but asking for help can not only help you, but those you are caring for as well. Consult a doctor online, speak to a therapist and help yourself help your patient. If you know someone who is also a caregivers and is struggling, you can offer help - sometimes, it takes a village.
Assurance is key
Amid news of life saving vaccines and medications, we forget that a positive attitude could bring healing as well. Being optimistic during a health crisis isn’t easy, but small acts whether it's bringing fresh flowers every day, or making sure to smile once a day can help assure your mind that everything will work out, one day at a time.
Keep important information handy
There can be emergencies while taking care of a COVID-19 positive patient, and so to make things easier and efficient, keep all important information at arms reach. This would include emergency numbers of family or friends, transportation, medical services and online care. This will help things move more smoothly and efficiently for caregivers who can get stressed during emergencies.
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