As our parents age, it is hard to watch the decline of our vibrant family members. However, aging in place is incredibly important to mental health, as well as one’s sense of freedom and independence. Making the choice to become a caregiver for your parent, or the senior in your life, is a big decision, as it is going to result in some semblance of a loss of freedom on your part, as the senior is going to become dependent on the care you provide. It is also easy to lose a bit of yourself when you become a caregiver to a senior, as their needs can be very extensive. It is important, even though your family is of the utmost importance to you, that you keep a good caregiver-life balance so as to not burn out and ensure that you can be there for your family and loved ones.
It is hard, when there is someone you love in need, to stop and take the time for yourself. However, it will be better for you and the senior in your life if you will make sure that your needs are provided for as well. This type of work is draining, as it is emotional, as well as physical. Many feel alone and like they have no one to turn to and begin to sink under the weight of the pressure of providing care for family members. What follows are just a number of tips that will help caregivers take care of themselves, so as to ensure their health and wellbeing, as well as that of those they care for. * Take Time for Yourself – It is easy to get caught up in caring for the senior in your life to the point that you forget that you have your own life, and that you need to make time for yourself. It is important to have “me time” that allows you to unwind from the day, and gives you the time to relax, doing something that you enjoy.
Find Support – Being a caregiver is a tough job. There is a lot that goes into it and we are involved emotionally. It is difficult to see a parent age, and to care for them in ways that really turn the proverbial tables of the parent-child relationship. There are support groups for caregivers that provide them an outlet for their concerns, frustrations, or to simply have others who understand what they are dealing with, to talk to. That sense of community is especially important for people who have such emotionally taxing responsibilities.
Don’t Overextend Yourself – Don’t bite off more than you can chew. There are tons of resources out there that can help you with caring for your parent or the senior in your life. You cannot help someone 24/7 and also have a life and family of your own. It is okay to ask for help, that is what those resources are there for.
Do Your Best – There is only so much we can do. Our parents may get sick, their conditions may get worse, there may be bumps in the road, but do not blame yourself for these things. What you do is not easy and you do your best.
Be Patient – It can be frustrating, at times, as our parents and loved ones don’t want to give up their freedom and independence easily. They may resist your efforts to help them, or seem as if they aren’t appreciative of what you do. Try to put yourself in their place and be patient with them. It isn’t easy for either party.
Eat Healthy, Exercise, and Get Enough Sleep – In order to be at your best, you need to feel at your best. It is vital that you get enough sleep and exercise. This makes stress easier to manage, and exercise is a great way to burn of steam. You are what you eat, and in order to handle the extra stress that care giving entails, it is especially important to make sure that you nourish your body properly.
Carefect Homecare Services is a non-medical homecare services provider that offers a wide range of different homecare options for the senior in your life. We understand the difficulties that family caregivers face and the stress of this lifestyle. We ardently support these healthy caregiver techniques, as they help to make the job of a caregiver just a little bit easier.