Caring for the Caregiver

 By Taveesha Guyton, Social Worker

Being a caregiver is hard. The scheduling of medical, dental, school and after school activities and appointments is daunting. Let us not forget meal prep and clean up followed by the constant cleaning after little people who leave toys, and food everywhere. Yes, being a caregiver is difficult, and it is not easy when one is the caregiver of a child with Special Needs such as Intellectually Disabilities or Autism.   Is there care for the caregiver and if so, what does care include? Here are some helpful tips to help caregivers.

1. Create a To- Do List
To – do list allows one to prioritize their schedule.  This plan may include scheduling doctor and dental appointments along with other appointments such as Physical, Occupational Therapies.

On the To- Do- should be carved out time for the caregiver to do something for themselves this can be to schedule respite for the child, getting a massage or just finishing the last chapter in a book they were reading. The caregiver needs are critical. Taking the time to write out a to-do list and placing one needs on it will help avoid burnout.

Ask for Help
As a caregiver, one can quickly put their wants and needs aside to attend to their family member, however, acknowledge where you are. Do you need help with the small tasks, such having a family member get the child off the bus, or setting up a schedule for other medical specialties Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor?  How does the family unit work and what system has the family unit created to help the caregiver? Help may include incorporating grandparents and siblings.,

Creating Balance

Every caregiver needs balance. For them to be effective and efficient creating balance includes reaching out to support groups in one’s place of worship.  Or finding support groups online  Getting educated on the child’s diagnosis is very empowering as well.   The International  Board of  Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards has a plethora of resources

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