The work of caregiving is physically and emotionally demanding, sometimes taking more from you than you have to give. If you’ve been pushing yourself to the brink, becoming impatient or stressed out with those around you, or even the senior loved one you are taking care of, New Year’s is the perfect time to make resolutions that benefit you all. You may resolve to join a support group for adult children caring for their parents, for instance. Knowing others are going through the same as you are can be very comforting and uplifting. When you take time out for yourself, you come back to the caregiving task refreshed and rejuvenated.
Here are some more tips.
Talk and Listen
Keeping an open dialogue with yourself and your senior loved one is key. Talk to them, ask them questions, share your thoughts…then sit back and listen without interrupting. This is a great way to stay informed about what they’re going through, as well as their thoughts and concerns, plus it reassures your senior loved one that you truly care.
As mentioned above, caregiving is a heroic endeavor, but you have to focus on taking care of yourself too. You’re no good to a loved one if you’re irritable, tired, or unhealthy. Resolve to get enough exercise and rest, to eat properly, and to take much-needed breaks through respite care. This way, you’ll have more energy to respond to your senior loved one and provide the complete care and dedication they require.
Many family caregivers are hesitant to ask for outside help. They don’t want to appear weak or come off like they can’t handle the task. But the truth is, accepting some help when you need it is just plain smart. When someone offers to help you out, whether with a grocery run or by spending a couple of hours with your loved one doing puzzles, accept it with grace and use the time to your advantage. Hiring in-home hospice care is another option that helps family caregivers get the respite they deserve. Plus, many caregiving duties in hospice are best left to professionals, especially when it comes to hygiene.