Family members can suffer great emotional and physical hardship due to the care of a loved one that is disabled. Fortunately, there are many things that caregivers can do to ensure the best care for their loved ones and also attend to their own needs
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Hi, I am Marcy from and Spinal Cord Datawork. Today I am going to be talking about the important role of the caregiver in brain and spinal cord injuries and six simple roles they should follow. Be sure to check the website for all relevant links and a recap of this article. Brain and spinal cord injuries do not just affect those who have been injured. Anyone who has a family member who has suffered a brain or spinal cord injury knows that these injuries quickly become family issues. In most instances it is up to the family members to take care of the physical, emotional, economic and social needs of the survivor. While caretaking can be an extremely rewarding experience, it can also be frustrating, exhausting and overwhelming and many times, the caretaker feels totally alone as if no one else understands what he or she is going through. According to the National Family Caregivers Association, caregivers suffer more depression, anxiety and stress than the general population. By following six simple rules, caregivers can ensure the best care for their loved ones while also attending to their own needs. Rule one, take care of yourself; you cannot expect to take care of someone else if you do not take care of yourself first. Attend to your own health and wellness by eating well, exercising everyday and getting plenty of sleep. Staying energized and well will help you make better decisions and will keep you emotionally balanced during difficult times. Rule two; connect with your other caregivers. Caring for your loved one can feel very isolating at times. Connecting to others who in your situation will give you wisdom and strength. Try support groups, online communities or even therapy and counseling. Connecting with other caregivers allows you to share your frustrations, celebrate your victories and trade knowledge with people who understand. Rule three, educate yourself knowing as much as possible about your loved one’s condition and how it will affect emotionally, physically and behaviorally will prepare you for the demands that will be made on you. The internet doctors and other health professionals are there to help you understand your loved one’s condition. Do not be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to. Rule four get help. The importance of taking a break every now and then cannot be underestimated. Brothers, sisters, spouses and parents should be called on to fill in as necessary. If other family members are unable to fill so you can get away for the weekend, catch a movie or have dinner with a friend, respicare is another option. Rule five, be an advocate. The time for a brain and spinal cord injury is extremely emotional and overwhelming for the survivor. Be prepared to speak out on your loved one’s behalf or ask any question that he or she has comfortable asking. You also want to help navigate on legal and financial issues, as well as how to make decisions regarding rehabilitative or nursing care. Rule six, get text savvy. There are a number of technological tools out there designed to help your loved one lead this independent and life is possible. Get to know as much as possible about adaptive equipment, tools, homecare products and services related to brain and spinal cord injury. Not only will help your loved one, they will help you as well. These conclude our segment on the role of the caregiver in brain and spinal cord injury and six simple roles they should follow. Remember to check our website for the most up-to-date information including resources and tips regarding brain and spinal cord injuries and thanks again for watching.

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