Caregiver Safety: If you’re like most adults, you take your safety a little bit for granted.
Hey, don’t get down on yourself; it’s important to realize just how your safety can be compromised, especially when you’ve taken on some other incredibly important responsibilities, like being a caregiver for an aging parent or spouse. Caregiver Safety is something you should take seriously.
For the majority of people, their everyday lives are a conglomeration of hustle and bustle, hectic schedules, and more things to do during the day than they possibly have time to complete. Ever.
As a result, most of us tend to rush around. We hurry while stepping into the shower. We race a bit down the stairs to our car or office or home. We speed a little too much, especially when we’re running late.
June is National Safety Month, so, as a caregiver for a family member, how might your safety be compromised? Let’s look at three potential scenarios, and hopefully, you’ll come away with more self-awareness, which is critical in the battle to remain safe while caring for an aging loved one (or as part of your job).
1. You don’t pay full attention.
How often do you find yourself being unfocused? It happens to all of us from time to time and it’s usually the product of being overwhelmed. With so much on your mind (and your plate), it’s easy to take your eye off the ball (figuratively speaking), even for a second.
When that happens, accident risks increase dramatically. You’ve noticed it in the past. You were fumbling for your keys and stumbled on a step. You were distracted making dinner and took a slice out of your skin. You were trying to change the radio station and slammed on the brakes when you saw the impending (near miss) collision.
When you aren’t fully focused on everything you’re doing throughout the day, you will make mistakes, and some of those mistakes could lead to injuries.
Caregiver Safety: 2. You’re not getting enough sleep.
One contributing factor to a lack or loss of focus is often insomnia. When you don’t sleep enough (or well enough) each night, it catches up with you.
Many family caregivers worry about their loved ones. They wonder what they missed, forgot about, or replay an argument or nasty comment the senior made to them (due to dementia or other illness) and that doesn’t lead to a good night’s rest.
When you’re run down, tired, and not sleeping properly, your safety is at risk.
Caregiver Safety: 3. You’re spreading yourself too thin.
When you do too much for too long, you’re getting worn out. That means you’ll be at an increased risk of health issues yourself.
When you run into a health crisis, who would then step up to support that senior or disabled adult in your family while you recover? While you might not think of this as a safety concern, why not?
If you get injured because you were rushing down the stairs, why is that any different than suffering a major medical emergency because you simply didn’t care for yourself properly?
It’s not. And when you need to slow down, turn to home care as a supplement (not a replacement) to the care you provide for your own caregiver safety.