December 26, 2019
When you first started out as your senior’s caregiver, you might have had different expectations than the reality you’re experiencing. That can be enough to send lots of caregivers into a bit of a tailspin. What helps is to remember why you’re helping your elderly family member and to take some small steps to take care of yourself as well as your aging family member.
Pay Attention to How You’re Feeling
Caregiving is usually fairly complicated, especially at first. It’s easy to forget to check in with yourself. How you’re feeling matters because when you don’t have the energy you need to get through your day, everything suffers. What is it that helps you to feel recharged? Are you including that in your daily and weekly routine? If not, you need to make some changes. Doing all that you need to do for yourself, including eating right and getting plenty of rest, is going to help you as a caregiver.
Your Hobbies and Activities Matter
One of the first things that falls by the wayside for caregivers are outside hobbies and activities. Those are extra things that don’t really matter, right? Not so fast. Those are usually activities that help to bring joy to your life. If you’re no longer engaging in those activities, even every once in a while, that might mean that you’re keeping some potential for joy out of your life and that affects your own quality of life.
It’s Never Too Early to Get Help
Too often caregivers try to wait to get help because they feel they should be able to do most of what needs to be done on their own. But the reality is that it’s never too early for you to get help as a caregiver. In fact, the sooner you get help, the less overwhelmed you’re going to feel. Home care providers can help you to get accustomed to caregiving when it’s still new and they can assist your senior as needed along the way, making life easier for both of you.
Challenges Are Going to Spring Up
Caregiving isn’t as predictable as everyone would like it to be. Between your senior’s health and her unique experiences with life, new situations are always going to pop up. Keep tabs on your senior’s health and educate yourself as much as you can about her particular health issues and about what you can do as her caregiver. You can face those new challenges, but you need to be ready to do so.
Your time as a caregiver is going to be unique to you and to your senior. But there are things you can do to make sure that it’s the best experience possible for both of you.