Help For Caregivers
Caregiving responsibilities usually fall on the women in the family, and can cause feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, loneliness and fatigue, says psychologist Daniel Koh from Insights Mind Centre.
So what do you do if you’re the one who’s left with caring for your parents? “Engage help,” says Daniel. “If it can help you be more effective and recharge, it is valuable to you and your loved ones,” he says.
Female caregivers often experience specific struggles like feelings of embarrassment when showering their fathers, carrying wheelchair-bound parents, and not having enough emotional support or understanding from family members. Here are some ways to help relieve the pressure if you’re caring for your parents alone.
CREATE POCKETS OF TIME FOR REST
You are entitled to rest, so do not feel guilty about it. Have time to yourself while your parent naps, and pick up simple hobbies to de-stress.
VOICE YOUR FRUSTRATIONS
If you keep quiet, others may think you’re doing ok, says Daniel. Instead of complaining, sit together and ask to discuss solutions. You can also vent frustrations by writing down your feelings, and finding support groups for information.
BUILD A STRONG BOND WITH YOUR PARENTS
Be there for them and focus on the positive, even if they may not always show gratitude.
SIGN UP FOR RESPITE CARE SERVICES
Hospis Malaysia ( www.hospismalaysia.org) organises regular caregivers' workshops on basic caregiving and nursing skills to help caregivers better manage the symptoms and effects of a patient’s illness at home. Try also the Department of Welfare's senior citizen's day centres and home-based respite care services. For more details, log on to www.jkm.gov.my.