Burnout is common among caregivers, and they must make a point of taking care of themselves when providing care for an elderly relative. Otherwise, they’re likely to burn out physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you’re caring for an aging loved one, here are a few ways you can practice better self-care.
1. Communicate with Your Loved One
Discuss what your loved one needs more assistance with. There might be some tasks he or she prefers to accomplish independently. By continually communicating with your loved one, you can avoid misunderstandings while strengthening your relationship. As you become closer, your loved one won’t be as resistant to asking for help when necessary. Don’t be afraid to tell your loved one if there’s some task you might not be able to accomplish when requested. Set boundaries and resist the urge to excessively sacrifice your own needs.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Wellesley Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age..
2. Request Help
You should have a backup plan in the event you have personal situations that must be handled, errands you need to run, or you become ill. You also deserve someone to take your place so you can have a few hours to yourself or take a vacation. Siblings or other family members might be willing to lend a hand. Friends or neighbors are other options. If finances permit, hire the services of a professional in-home caregiver.
Senior care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
3. Join a Support Group
Regardless of how close your relationship is with your loved one, there are bound to be times of conflict. Caregiving may be stressful if you also have a family to raise or a full-time job to attend. Community support groups are the perfect place to share your concerns and frustrations. Group members often have varied levels of caregiving experience and offer a wealth of knowledge while being understanding and compassionate.
4. Follow a Healthy Diet
The body cannot function properly if not given the right foods to provide fuel. It’s common for people to grab convenient processed foods or high-fat and high-sugar snacks instead of having a nutritious meal. However, these foods are largely empty in nutritional value. Choose meals with lean meats and low-fat cheeses, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and grab a handful of dry-roasted nuts as a snack. You should also stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.
Caregiving often involves tasks that require physical strength. You might need to help your loved one change position from lying to sitting or transfer him or her from the bed to a chair and back again. These tasks necessitate lifting, which requires strength. Even household chores demand some degree of physical labor. Make time to keep yourself as physically fit as possible by engaging in some type of regular exercise routine.
6. Take Mental Breaks
Watch a favorite TV show or movie, read a book, join a tai chi or yoga class, resume a hobby, or play a quick game on a mobile device. Find some activity that enables you to mentally escape for awhile and let your body relax.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Wellesley, MA, families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. To learn more about our high-quality home care services, schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our dedicated Care Managers at (781) 239-0060.