We at SYNERGY HomeCare know that caring for loved ones with debilitating diseases or conditions can be exhausting and stressful. This is especially true when your loved one is suffering from a genetic disorder like Muscular Dystrophy or MD. Caring for someone with MD combines the length of care someone would give to a person with a stable condition such as a stroke and the amount of care needed for someone who is suffering from a short term, acute illness. It takes a large amount of energy and time to care for individuals with MD and can be more than overwhelming.
Inspired by November’s honorary recipient of the Pillar of Strength award, Kim Oster, who provides care for her husband with muscular dystrophy, we have gathered together some important tips to help you as you care for your loved with Muscular Dystrophy.
- Do everything you can to learn as much as possible about your loved ones condition. Talk to experts, read up on the latest research, educate yourself so you know what to expect and be prepared with how you can take care of your loved one.
- Depending on the type, progression, and severity of MD, different kinds of care will be required from you at different times. It is important to come up with a plan that involves everyone- doctors, family, friends, and including your loved one with MD.
- Plan to adapt and change your plan as symptoms change for your loved one.
- It is very important that you maintain your own well being. As much as you love the person you are caring for, you come first. If anything should happen like an illness or depression, proper care won’t be given to your loved one.
- Take time for yourself and ensure that you maintain physical and mental health by exercising, eating healthy, and maintaining a life outside of your role as a caregiver.
- Ask for support when you need it. Being in a position of feeling overwhelmed by everything can be avoided by creating a team of caregivers. Talk to friends, family, and neighbors and make a list of people who could help.
Even though being a primary caregiver is demanding and can be physical and emotionally taxing, it is also one of the most rewarding experiences you can have with your loved one. Helping them to overcome challenges caused by their condition and problem solving ways for them to maintain control over their own life not only maintains and renews their spirit but also yours.
If you have any questions or concerns about what you can do as primary caregiver please call us 1-877-230-4851