If you look after someone with epilepsy, you are their caregiver and caring can require a number of skills in as much as it can be both rewarding and exhausting.
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Among other things, as a caregiver it can be hard to:
Epilepsy can be different for each person, so the need for care varies greatly. Some people with epilepsy do not need any additional care from others to be able to live independently. Other people with epilepsy may need a lot of care.
If you care for someone with epilepsy, the things you can do to support them may include:
It is prudent to note that any of the above may be very valuable but may also mean a lot of responsibility for you as a caregiver.
Looking after yourself
Many people in a caring role find it rewarding, and many would not want their situation to change. However, for some people, being a caregiver can be exhausting.
Emotions such as guilt, resentment, anger, anxiety or helplessness can be common. Some caregivers end up giving up their income and career prospects to care for someone.
Sometimes, even if you care very deeply for the person, it can feel as though the focus is always on them and that your needs and wishes go unnoticed.
It important to look after yourself, and have some time to yourself. Caregivers often deal with their situation alone and can feel very isolated.
- The writer is the National Epilepsy Coordination Committee (NECC) National Secretary (Kenya), and an Epilepsy Awareness ambassador