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Self Care for the Caregiver

May 6, 2022

Six Strategies to Help You Cope With the Demands of Caregiving

Caregiving can be complicated. It may mean assisting with daily activities such as bathing, grooming, eating, mobility, and dressing. It could include accompaniment to medical appointments.

It can mean that you are coordinating care and services or offering emotional support. During this time, caring for yourself is essential. Ironically, self-care is often overlooked or at the very least, can fall to the bottom of the caregiver’s daily to-do list. 

Caring for the caregiver is a key component of successful long-term caregiving. In the absence of help, you're more likely to become exhausted and stressed. That can easily lead to health problems and limit your ability to provide care for others. It is so important to find caregiving help, allowing you to take regular breaks and to have the time to tend to your own health and well-being.

Even though it can take some initial consideration on your part to create a network of support that you need, the positive effect on you makes it worth it in the long run.

Here are six ideas to help you find the time you need to take those well-deserved breaks to rest, recharge, and keep going.

1. Call On Family And Friends 

Sometimes family or friends just don’t know where or how they can be helpful. Others might feel that you don’t want or need any help (especially if you don’t ask for it), or just don’t realize how much time, energy, and sacrifice caregiving really takes.

Give them the opportunity to help by asking them for specific things like running errands, performing small fix-it jobs around the house, doing online research, etc. Play to someone’s strengths and they will often be eager to help!

2. Hire For Things You Need

Being a caregiver includes a lot more responsibility than just hands-on caring for a person. Arranging for someone to help you with non-caregiving tasks takes those things off your to-do list and results in a bit more time for yourself.

This could include using a groceries and/or meal delivery service, getting help with laundry, hiring a housekeeper, hiring a landscaper, or having a handyman come once a month.

3. Hire An In-Home Caregiver

As your loved one’s care needs increase, they’ll need more and more help with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, dressing, and moving around. As a result, your days and nights can become consumed with these activities.

Having in-home caregiving help is especially important if your older adult isn’t sleeping well and you’re not getting the rest you need at night. An in-home caregiver can help you take regular breaks so you can take care of yourself.

It will make a huge difference in your quality of life and health if you have someone take over a few nights a week or get longer naps during the day.

4. Adult Day Programs Offer Caregivers A Break 

There are several respite care programs that offer companionship and social engagement for seniors during the day and may include meals and even transportation to and from the program.

This type of respite can provide much-needed breaks to reduce stress on the caregiver and prevent burnout. Many older adults often benefit from the added social interaction and the cost is usually much lower than hiring an in-home caregiver. 

5. Join a Caregiver Support Group

There is something so nourishing about being with others who are experiencing something akin to your challenges. While caregiving can often contribute to feelings of isolation, sharing your experiences with others and even hearing your own thoughts echoed in their words can create a connection that is special and uplifting. 

6. Hire an Eldercare Consultant!

Overwhelmed by where to start?  Rather than spending hours online in search of resources, support and in-home help, an Eldercare Consultant can coordinate all of these services for you.

If having “Peace of Mind” visits scheduled with your loved one would ease your mind, or having an advocate to relieve stress when you are overburdened by health care, insurance, and financial issues, hiring an Eldercare Consultant can be a very helpful solution for you.

To find out more about the resources offered in your area, get in touch with Senior Care Authority today.

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