Caring for an aging loved one can sometimes cause you to feel like you can barely hold your head above water. While you can expect to face a few new challenges, you shouldn’t feel like you’re heading to the battlefield alone. In addition to pulling together a support network of other caregivers and friends, you can use these six tips to survive as you manage the changes caregiving brings.
1. Go to Your Own Medical and Dental Appointments
There’s no way around the fact that you cannot do your job if you’re sick or in terrible pain. Although the last thing you may want to do is sit in another waiting room, your health is also important. Schedule your medical and dental appointments ahead of time, and make sure someone can help your loved one while you’re away so you have a guilt-free experience.
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. University Park 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.
2. Develop an Exercise Routine
You might feel like you get enough physical activity already, but housekeeping isn’t the same as an actual workout. Your exercise routine might involve taking a walk with your loved one, or you may need to do even more by going to the gym. Exercising can help you avoid injuries and give you a mood boost.
3. Identify Your Priorities
There are only so many things you can accomplish in a day. Caregiver burnout tends to occur when people try to do more than is reasonably possible. Make a list of what actually has to be done each day. Then check to see if certain things can wait or be delegated to someone else. Paring down your to-do list makes it easier to be successful at the things you actually do.
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 in-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.
4. Make at Least One Hobby a Priority
Sewing or going to your book club might seem a little selfish, but these activities are critical for your personal happiness. Caregivers sometimes complain about feeling bored or stagnant in their lives, and keeping up with your favorite hobby can help you avoid this problem. Depending on the hobby, you might do it with your loved one, or you may need to carve out respite time. Either way, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment combined with more self-worth that transfers to your duties.
5. Practice Relationship Maintenance
Isolation makes you feel like you’re alone in your role, which can wear you down emotionally. Create a list of people you don’t want to lose touch with, and make sure to send them a quick text on a busy day. You should also make time to go to social events where you can enjoy in-person connections that make you feel happy.
6. Find Ways to Vent Your Emotions
You need to know your emotions are valid. Caregivers are often depicted as saints who never complain, but the truth is you’re a human being who naturally feels angry, frustrated, and even resentful on occasion. Explore ways to let out negative emotions. You can write in a journal, talk to a counselor, or vent to a best friend. You’ll feel better knowing your feelings are normal and that there are things you can do to keep them under control.
One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide services home care. University Park families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (214) 363-3400 today.