When you have an elderly family member who needs extra care, it’s commendable that you want to be there for the person in your life. However, no one really understands how difficult caregiving is – until you jump in with both feet and do it.
To be an effective caregiver, the kind of person you know your loved one needs and deserves, sometimes that means other areas of your life end up taking the backburner. This means friends, extracurricular activities and even some other members of your family will be getting less of your attention while you provide care to your aging or special needs loved one.
If you become fatigued, resentful or burnt out, caregiving can become a chore. Below are some solutions to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Take More Time for Yourself and Your Family
This may be easier said than done between work and the needs of your other loved ones. However, a vacation, a long weekend or even a night out can be the ideal remedy to help you escape the daily grind of your caregiver duties. In fact, a couple of hours in the movies or time at the gym can provide a breather, as well.
It’s important to show other members of your family (especially your spouse and children!) that they matter, too. If you don’t, even the most understanding loved ones can start to feel ignored. Besides, the other people in your life are your support system, you need them to be strong for you.
Taking Turns: All Hands on Deck
Just because you’re the primary caregiver, doesn’t mean you can’t lean on other members of your family. Whether you have brothers and sisters who can drive your elderly loved one to doctors’ appointments or older children who can help them with basic living tasks, spreading around some of the responsibilities can go a long way in alleviating the burden.
Consider Hiring Outside Help
If, at the end of the day, it just gets to be too much no matter how hard you try to balance it, you may consider seeking help. Bratton Scott’s Elder Care Coordinator has worked closely with countless families who need help caring for a loved one. Her experience in many facets of healthcare, including adult day cares, home health aides, support groups, and assisted living facilities, provides a sense of calm to the storm.
If you need assistance caring for a loved one, we can help. The experienced life care planners at Bratton Scott will sit down with you, answer your questions and work with you to create a plan that is in your family member’s best interest. Sometimes, as a caregiver, having someone to guide you through the process can take the guesswork out of decision-making – providing the entire family with peace of mind. Contact our office today for a consultation.