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5 Self-Care Tips for You, the Caregiver

Posted on April 18, 2019 by All In

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Raising a child with special needs is no easy feat. Your child may need a lot of assistance with his/her daily activities like bathing, eating, and dressing. There may also a large number of hidden costs to bear, such as therapies and special equipment. This may place a large amount of stress on you and your family. You have your own individuals needs, and sometimes you may need a break from caregiving to rest and spend time doing things you need to.

Here are some tips for caring for yourself:

  1. Engage your family members

Though you may be your child’s primary caregiver, getting your family involved in the care of your child will ensure that you have support in planning day-to-day activities and decision-making. It may be tiring to juggle all of your child’s needs by yourself. So discussing with your family to share responsibilities might help you feel less isolated and less worn out. Family counselling is available at various voluntary welfare organisations, if you and your family require guidance.

2. Plan a break

It is important that you occasionally take time off to do things that you want. You should not let caring for your child consume your life. You have a right to schedule a break from your responsibilities without having a sense of guilt. It may help to plan your time off and arrange for your child’s care beforehand. Some of the care options you may consider:

  • Ask a relative or friend if they can help look after your child for a few hours
  • Utilise respite care, which provides temporary relief for caregivers. They can be found at daycare centres. Caregiver Asia is a website that will allow you to look for freelance home care services.

3. Share your struggles

Sometimes it is difficult to talk to your relatives and friends about what you are going through. Know that you are not alone. You may choose to participate in a support group at your child’s EIPIC centre or online forums to discuss your experiences with other parents of special needs children.

4. Understand your own limitations

As your child’s caregiver, you may have to juggle various roles and it may not be easy to achieve a balance. You have to know your limits and stop before you burnout. Nobody is perfect and you have to realise that you will not always be perfect when caring for your child. Take time to plan and set realistic goals for each day. Ask for help from family or friends when you need it.

5. Take good care of your health

You must remember that you can only take good care of your child if you take good care of yourself first. Here are some tips to live a healthy lifestyle:

  • Ensure that you get sufficient rest and sleep. This is essential not only for your health but to remain energetic.
  • Eat regular and healthy meals
  • Make time for regular exercise. You may use this time for a break, or bring your child along.