The support that some patients have in their daily lives is provided by caregivers, who are responsible for supervising the health and emotional state of these people with the aim of protecting and maintaining their quality of life.
According to Versania Care and Life, knowing about the physical and mental health of the people in charge is crucial for the patient’s well-being, as it allows identifying the person’s personality, tastes, preferences and care network to provide adequate care. Caregivers also need to understand the consequences of the illness or situation that generates care, as well as the available treatments and their effects. Likewise, planning daily activities, knowledge of emergency numbers and the ability to communicate effectively are essential to provide complete care.
Performing these tasks can sometimes affect the physical and emotional health of caregivers directly, since most of their time is dedicated exclusively to the health of the person under their responsibility, leaving aside their health and well-being. Caregivers who do not have experience in the subject may be at greater risk of developing musculoskeletal diseases by making a wrong move in caring for the person requiring care.
In the same sense, the mental health of caregivers is an issue that currently presents a challenge because as described by Mayerly Galvis, head of the caregiver service line at Versania Care and Life, “caregivers in charge of people with psychiatric illnesses usually have an overload, since they go through different phases and emotions that can interfere with their own care. This can present with feelings of being insufficient, guilty or weak, then changes in mood appear presenting irritability, sadness or crying easily and/or anxiety and stress. The emotional changes little by little turn into extreme fatigue, insomnia, drowsiness, dietary changes and the somatization phase and getting sick begins.”
To maintain a balance between self-care and care of the person being cared for, self-care must be prioritized. Exercising regularly, resting, practicing recreational activities and maintaining social relationships contribute to the well-being of the caregiver. Setting clear boundaries and seeking support from other caregivers, family members, or health professionals can ease the emotional and physical burden. These are some recommendations from the expert to maintain a healthy relationship:
Effective communication: Effective communication must be maintained with the person being cared for as it is crucial to providing quality care. To achieve this, it must be adapted to the person’s language and cognitive level, considering their neurological and psychological condition. Keep in mind that aspects such as looking straight ahead, listening carefully and using clear and understandable language are essential to achieving the objective.
Promotion of autonomy: Promoting independence and autonomy in the person being cared for is essential for their well-being. Allow them to make decisions, participate in activities and take advantage of those that can contribute to their quality of life according to their abilities as this promotes a sense of belonging and participation in the community, which enriches their experience.
Keep calm: Having empathy and patience in these cases is crucial so that the person being treated also remains calm. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and maintain control of the situation as it will make the relationship healthier and maintain a conducive environment.
Divide the tasks: Having all the responsibility fall on just one person can cause problems in the future. It is important that you coordinate care actions to prevent premature exhaustion. Remember that it is essential that you take care of your mental and physical health: when you put yourself first than others, you can develop a healthier job.
In conclusion, being a caregiver involves a combination of skills, knowledge, and self-care. Carers play a crucial role in the lives of dependent people, contributing to their physical and emotional well-being. Facing challenges, maintaining effective communication, and finding a healthy balance are essential components of this work. This is why Galvis highlights that it is important to make use of the training tools and support groups offered and promoted by specialized companies such as Versania Care and Life, as well as to have respite spaces that allow caregivers to rest from their work, even if necessary. for a short space.
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