A common problem among caregivers is the immersion of care into another to the point where they no longer care for themselves. It is not that they do not care, but they do not take care of themselves. It can be the consistent amount of work with so little time that enables them to cancel doctor appointments for themselves even though they know it has been two years since a physical. It could be the signs of aching in their bones and the suspicion that they have arthritis, but the ease to cast it aside because it does not compare with the suffering of their loved one. It is sometimes fear that they will have a problem and be unable to continue to provide care, or the fear they they will be the one needing care. Whatever it is, it is not healthy. Caregivers need to care for themselves first.
Without a healthy caregiver, how can the person being cared for have the proper care. The caregiver needs to have regular checkups and see a doctor for any concerns they may have. If a problem is not addressed right away, it could snowball into a more significant problem and require more care that it would have originally. Sometimes it is the cost that causes this problem. If the copays are extensive and more money is going to the person being cared for, it can be difficult to find the money to cover the costs of the caregivers care, however, it is necessary. If this is a problem, try to find local resources that can help with the costs. There are often clinics that will provide care on a sliding fee scale as well. Seek out any advocates in the area that can help determine assistance that may be available.
Finally, there are just those individuals who hate going to the doctor. The ones who have a lot of pride and feel they will be fine. People like me. I have been guilty of this and at times, I still am. Yet, I have been to the doctor regularly over the past 2 years and have found it is not as bad as I made it out to be, and I am actually feeling good, and stronger than before. If you are a caregiver who has neglected yourself, find a way to care. You are just as important as the person you are caring for, and you deserve proper care. This included breaks, relaxation, and special treats once in a while. Pamper yourself once in a while because you deserve it. Realize that to be a good caregiver, you need to care about yourself too.