March 30, 2012

You know better than anyone how challenging, exhausting and stressful it can be to care for someone with MS. Feelings of depression, resentment and isolation are all-too-common because caregivers are known for brushing their own needs aside. At Griswold, we are firm believers in the importance of and absolute necessity for acknowledging your limits and taking a break. If you don’t do these things, it’s only natural to get worn out and burnt out — and that is certainly not your intention when caring for someone you love.

To prevent or alleviate the wear-and-tear of caregiving for someone with MS, consider these tips:

1. Educate — Like we said at the beginning of this series, understanding and awareness of the disease is necessary to cope — and this goes for the individual with MS and his or her caretaker. The more you know, the more confident and comfortable you’ll feel facing the challenges of your loved one’s condition.

2. Connect — It’s common to feel isolated and lonely when you’re caring for someone with MS. You’re expected to provide the care, but what about when you need some support and motivation? Connect with other caregivers either in a support group or through online message boards, chats and social networking. These are the people who can relate to what you’re feeling and going through — take advantage of not only their motivation and support, but also any information and tips that you might not be aware of!

3. Respite — To prevent the burn out that’s out so common amongst caregivers, you have to take a break once in a while. Line up occasional respite care, either from a professional provider or from family and friends, so you can rest and rejuvenate. Not only will you be helping yourself, but you’ll also be looking out for your loved one’s best interests — an emotionally, physically and mentally drained caregiver cannot possibly provide the necessary care or commitment.

This last tip, respite, is key to the wellbeing of both you and your loved one with MS. If you’re interested in respite, contact us at Griswold — we’ll set you up with a quality and affordable caregiver so you can take that temporary break you need to revitalize your caretaking spirit.

We at Griswold hope you found this blog series on MS to be full of helpful information. If you take anything from it, we hope it’s the importance of education, support and occasional breaks from your strenuous responsibilities.

Subscribe or stay tuned for next week’s posts, which will tell you the questions to ask the professional caregiver.