Doctor explaining diagnosis to his female patient. Concept of health care for elderly old people, disabled.

Caring for a loved one


The first thing to say it that it is a touch job and as a result many carers have a clinical depression.  The first thing that they want is for their loved one to be well and this is probably not achievable.  Sadly everyone will eventually die, even though we are trying very hard to ignore this fact and so that is the next thing that carers want and the sudden or otherwise death of a loved one is a huge blow.  Also cares have a really hard time watching the seemingly slow and sometimes painful deterioration of their loved one.  All of this means that carers often feel that no matter how hard they try, whatever they do it is not enough.


Therefore if you are a carer, well done, you’re doing a great job.  Trying to do your best is all you can do and it is enough.


Hindsight is a perfect vision and when you make a decision without the benefit of hindsight it is all you can do, so even though this might not turn out to be the right choice, without more information it is the right choice for now.


So how do you care for someone, not become depressed and still do a good job?  There are a few things to understand and having the right mental attitude is invaluable.


Firstly, you need to know that the journey will not be plain sailing, there will be bad days and things will go wrong, but if you are expecting it, when it does happen, it is much easier to both mentally and physically cope with.  This does not mean that it is all doom and gloom, things will also go right, so enjoy those moments when things go well.  They are rays of sunshine, bask in them!


Understand what a good day looks like for your loved one and as we are all individuals, one person’s good day will be different from someone else’s.  Then try to do what it is that will make them happy.  They are still people and will still retain many of the qualities that are the essence of “them”, even though some of them may have changed.  They may well still have a sense of humour, so have a joke, laughing with someone (rather than at them) is good for both of you.


A carer cannot keep that person 100% safe, life has risks, it is about minimising the risks to an acceptable level and what is an acceptable level will be different for everyone, some people and some carers are willing to take more risks than others.


So a good day is keeping that person relatively safe and relatively happy and very importantly accepting that that is a good job.


So ride out the bad days, they may be tough, but they do come to and end and enjoy the good days, they are amazing!