Like any full-time responsibility, being a caregiver to an elderly parent can be difficult. So many adults are being pulled in many different directions due to their different duties, from jobs and children to hobbies and home maintenance. Adding senior care into the mix is enough to trigger stress and even burnout. When family caregivers start to struggle to find balance between their elderly parents and the rest of their lives, it’s time for them to be proactive.
Here are a few things that family caregivers to aging parents can do to ensure that everyone’s needs are being taken care of:
Figure out limitations. It’s hard to care for an elderly parent emotionally and physically. Some people are not good at juggling lots of responsibilities or they may not have the time to devote to every bit of care. Knowing their limitations will allow them to ask for help from other family members, clergy, friends and to explore the possibility of home care assistance.
Take breaks. Caring for a senior parent or relative can turn into a 24-hour job but that doesn’t mean one person has to do it. Family caregivers should be proactive in lining up people to help out, whether it’s finding a sibling to drive the elderly person to a doctor’s appointment or hiring someone as a senior care assistant. Caregivers need time to themselves so they can take care of their own needs.
Develop a support network. Family caregivers often try to do everything alone but they don’t have to. That’s why it’s important for them to develop community resources and personal friends and family to help out. Places like county health departments, senior community centers, clinics, hospitals and even retirement homes can link caregivers up with a number of resources.
Develop empathy. It’s easy to get irritated at every little thing, but family caregivers need to remember that their elderly loved one is facing a lot of fear and uncertainty. They may also be struggling with any number of mental health issues, like depression, grief or anxiety.
Preserve their dignity. It’s impossible to understand what a senior is going through when they get to the point where they need lots of care. Slowly, they are losing the life they once knew and it is being replaced with other people telling them what to do. Family caregivers that give as much independence and autonomy to elderly relatives as they can will soon see that the respect is appreciated.
Adults with senior relatives have a lot going on, and senior care is a big part of it. By pulling in all the resources they can, and taking care of themselves and their needs, it’s much easier to find balance. A caregiver will only be their best when they take care of themselves first.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Seattle WA, contact the caring staff at Hospitality Home Care today. Call us at (206) 966-6552.