As much as you may appreciate the ability to provide care for an aging family member, there are times when you might simply feel overwhelmed. From feelings of isolation to increased anxiety and a lack of sufficient sleep, the challenges associated with caregiving are certainly real. However, there are ways you can survive physically and emotionally as a caregiver. Here are six tips to keep in mind.
1. Don’t Put Your Own Needs on the Back Burner
Set aside some time during your day to get some regular exercise and attend to your own health needs. Even walking for 20–30 minutes every day can be helpful. Taking care of your own needs also means:
• Keeping up with your own doctor appointments
• Being mindful of your diet
• Setting aside some time to relax and unwind
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted senior home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
2. Find Ways to Stay Social
Caregiving can take up a lot of your time, but giving up your own social life isn’t healthy either. Find ways to work around whatever it is that’s keeping you from being as social as you could be. For instance, you might have to set reasonable boundaries so you can spend time with your friends and immediate family members.
3. Take Advantage of Technology
One of the more stressful things about caring for a loved one is worrying about potential serious issues with medication and personal safety. Ease your stress and increase your odds of getting high-quality sleep by taking advantage of technology related to these needs. Options include:
• An automated medication dispenser
• A home monitoring system you can use to check in remotely when not physically caring for your loved one
• A medical alert or personal emergency system that allows your loved one to instantly request help
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Tucson Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
4. Find Outlets for Your Own Feelings
Certain aspects of caregiving might leave you feeling mentally drained, especially if your loved one has dementia or another serious health issue. Ultimately, you’ll be in a better position emotionally if you find outlets for your own feelings related to what you face on a regular basis. This could involve:
• Having a trusted friend or family member to confide in
• Keeping a personal journal
• Joining a support group for caregiver
5. Prioritize Quality Time with Your Loved One
Caregiving doesn’t have to be limited to physically demanding or routine care tasks. It’s just as important to find ways to enjoy quality time with your loved one while providing care. For instance, you might make enjoyable activities like cooking and baking together part of your regular caregiving routine. Other possibilities include:
• Playing fun interactive games together
• Taking a class or learning new skills together
• Encouraging storytelling or having theme nights (e.g., watching a movie you both enjoy, binge-watching a favorite show on Netflix, etc.)
6. Consider In-Home Respite Care
If you’re having a difficult time getting a helping hand from other family members, consider professional assistance so you can reduce your risk of exhaustion and burnout. Respite care is short-term care provided by a qualified professional caregiver so you can take an extended break without feeling guilty. This type of care is provided in the comfort of your loved one’s home, and it can be arranged around a schedule that’s convenient for you and your senior parent.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Tucson families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. Call us today at (520) 214-5440 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.