Time for the caregiver

Caring for a loved one after a stroke is more than a full time job. Being aware of what you are signing up for before you start will make for a less stressful transition.


6/25/20233 min read

Lady at a park in a wheelchair
Lady at a park in a wheelchair

Not a Nine to Five Job

Finding time for yourself can be challenging when you are caring for a loved one at home. It is natural to prioritize their needs above your own, but it is equally important to take care of yourself. It is essential to create a balance between caregiving responsibilities and self-care. Setting aside dedicated time for yourself can help you recharge and prevent burnout. Whether it is reading a book, going for a walk, or simply taking a few moments to relax, find activities that bring you joy and make you feel rejuvenated. Reach out to family, friends, or support groups for assistance, allowing you to have some time for yourself. Remember, taking care of your own well-being is crucial in providing the best care for your loved one.

There is no comparison between having a full time job and taking care of a loved one at home. When you have a job you can get into a routine and when quitting time comes, you can quit . When you are caring for another person there is no quitting time and a routine is harder to establish.

I thought I had a handle on how things would work when Diana first came home. What I failed to really think about was the fact that I would literally have to do all the little things for her that she couldn't do for herself.

I knew that I would have to administer her medications. I knew that for as long as she had incontinence issues that would need to deal with that. I understood that I would have to bath her, cook her meals, dress her, work with her therapy, get her to doctor's appointments, so on and so forth.

I failed to realize just how much time all of this would actually take. Consider all of the little things that you do for yourself on an average day. I mean all of the little things like getting yourself a snack or even going to the kitchen for a drink of water. Now consider doing all this, not only for yourself, but for someone else also

There are so many of these little things that we do for ourselves without even thinking about them. When you find yourself doing everything for someone else, you suddenly find you no longer have much time to do the little things for yourself.

Diana has experienced a couple of seizures since she has been home. This is a horrible thing to watch someone you love go through. All you can really do is hold their hand and be supportive until the event passes. You don't want to risk that someone you care about would ever have to go through one of these alone. Now, I felt that I couldn't leave her alone for more than a few minutes at a time.

I decided to buy a baby monitor so that I could at least hear her when I was in another room. I sleep downstairs with her so I can hear her at night but sometimes I need to go upstairs to my old bedroom to do things. Having the receiver up in that room lets me hear her and know that she is doing okay.

Caring for a loved one at home can be challenging, but with effective time management, you can ensure that both their needs and your own are met. Firstly, prioritize your tasks by identifying the most important and urgent ones. This will help you focus on what needs to be done immediately. Additionally, create a schedule or routine to provide structure and consistency in your caregiving responsibilities. Allocate specific time slots for various activities such as medication administration, meal preparation, and personal care. It is also crucial to delegate tasks to other family members or seek assistance from professional caregivers when needed. Remember to take breaks for yourself to avoid burnout and maintain your own well-being. Lastly, make use of technology tools like alarms or reminder apps to help you stay organized and on track. By implementing these strategies, you can effectively manage your time while caring for your loved one at home.