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Caregivers often feel alone.

As we work tirelessly to help those in need, we wonder if anyone out there knows what we do as caregivers and how hard it can be. But we are not alone. There are a lot more of us out there than you think. And at one point, we will all become caregivers.

Today, there are more than 65.7 million caregivers in the United States. That’s 29 percent of the adult population. Tomorrow, there will be even more. What ties us together is that we’re all in it to help someone. We’re a big, caring family that is growing by the day.

In my case, I learned early on how to become a caregiver. Just when I was transitioning into adulthood, my role with my mother was reversed. It started when I was 18, the second my mom told me the biopsy of the lump on her chest had come back.

"It’s malignant," she said. "Breast cancer."

I became the mother, and Mom became the one I nurtured, cared for, disciplined and tucked into bed at night. She started chemotherapy, and soon I found myself bouncing back and forth between the world of doctors and hospitals, appointments and prescriptions, professors and the library, homework and presentations. It was overwhelming and impossible to focus on mathematical equations when I had to care for my mother.

My mother’s cancer became my education to caregiving, and life really. I learned the hard way. I’m still learning.

Now, I don’t have all the answers to being a caregiver, but I can provide some guidance as to what can make your experience and other’s a lot more positive and healing.

Caregivers experience a wide-spectrum of emotions and feelings. There can be anger, sadness, guilt, remorse. There is physical strain, emotional stress and financial hardship. But remember, you’re there to help someone. You are their guide, their hand to hold, the one with answers in a world that can be filled with questions and worry. When you are with your care recipient, focus on them and their needs. That is the most important thing!

Frustration is one of the caregiver’s greatest enemies. Frustration exasperates. Frustration lives. Frustration thrives on the feeling that has you reeling: loss of control. Just as you are learning to control and manage the pain of the person whom you are caring for, you must also learn to manage and control the frustration that’s making your job even harder. I promise it will become easier.

Keep things safe and clean. Whether you’re helping a loved one or someone you’ve just met, you must ensure their environment is as safe and hygienic as possible. Whether the person receiving care is young or old, they will need your help to stay healthy. Thankfully Clorox CareConcepts has a line of personal care and cleaning products designed to meet the needs of caregivers. The line was developed with healthcare professionals, ensuring confident care.

  • Rash Relief Ointment
    • 4 fluid ounce tube of ointment that relieves minor skin irritation caused by incontinence. 
    • Helps protect skin and seal out wetness with zinc oxide and petrolatum
  • Disinfecting & Deodorizing Spray
    • 14 ounce aerosol can of disinfecting and deodorizing spray that kills 99.9% of germs on surfaces that can make one sick
  • Germ Control Kit
    • Kit contains 5 products for preventing the spread of common home healthcare germs plus a caregiving guide
    • Includes antimicrobial hand soap, germicidal bleach wipes, disinfecting and deodorizing spray, non-latex gloves and hand sanitizer
  • Bed Bath & Hygiene Kit
    • Kit contains 5 products for maintaining hygiene in a home healthcare setting, plus a caregiving guide with step-by-step instructions for giving a bedside bath
    • Includes no-rinse shampoo, bathing wipes, aloe moisturizing lotion, non-latex gloves, and hand sanitizer

Above all, remember there are many caregivers out there alongside you, working hard to ensure the best for their loved one or care recipient. You’re not alone…and with these tips, you can be confident you’re giving your best care.

Blog By: Tory Zellick 

This blog is sponsored by Clorox.

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