Balancing Life as a Caregiver
Taking care of an elderly parent can be rewarding because you know you’re giving back to someone who helped raise you, but it also comes with its share of challenges. You’re trying to balance your own life, career, and family with meeting the needs of your parent. Being a caregiver is a tough job.
November is National Family Caregivers Month and wonderful time to remind yourself that you don’t have to go through this journey alone. There are many others who are facing similar situations, and there are plenty of resources to help you along the way. Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to find balance in your own life as a caregiver:
- Take time for yourself
- Ask for help
- Find local resources
- Stay organized
- Join a support group
You are not going to be any help to your aging parent if you are burnt out and running on empty. Don’t forget to schedule time to do things for yourself and that you enjoy. That may mean getting your hair or nails done, meeting friends to watch the big game, or simply enjoying some quiet time alone with a good book or movie. Give yourself a chance to recharge so you can be the best caregiver possible.
Don’t feel like you have to do everything on your own. Turn to family or even friends for help and support. Divide responsibilities with siblings or extended family and coordinate who is in charge of what. Ask a friend if they could stay with your parent while you run some errands or take a break. See if a neighbor would mind mowing their lawn. People often want to help but don’t always know how or what you need, so speak up.
Consider local resources as well such as community centers that provide activities or transportation. This can allow your loved one to stay busy in a safe environment with their peers. Organizations like Always Best Care Senior Services provide non-medical in-home care to assist with everything from light housekeeping, meal preparation, and managing mail to companionship, medication reminders, and morning/evening routines. Your senior can get as much or as little support as they need to maintain their independence and quality of life.
Another way to help reduce stress and make things run more smoothly is to stay organized. Keep all of your loved one’s important documents in one location. You can work with a financial planner to manage their expenses and a lawyer to draw up any legal forms related to their care. Staying on top of their changing needs as well as any appointments can help you to plan accordingly and ask for assistance if you need it.
Connect with other caregivers by joining a local support group. You will automatically have something in common and you may find that others are great resources for information as well as support and motivation. It can be helpful to spend time with others who know exactly what you are going through because they are going through it too.
Do what is best for you and your family so that everyone can make the most of each day and the opportunities available. If your loved one could benefit from in-home care, contact Always Best Care of North Vancouver today at (778) 945-3010 to learn more about available services and schedule a free consultation.