When caregiving involves taking care of your loved elder ones especially mom or dad, you don’t have to put them in assisted living. You want them to keep living with you if possible. And this is true not just because assisted living is expensive but also because your emotional side kicks in when it is about your dad or mom who raised you.
Keeping your elders with you is a great thing if it does not harm anyone in the house – emotionally or physically. But caregiving can never be underestimated. It is one of the most challenging jobs in the world.
At times, the caregiver can experience stress and isolation, which if left neglected can lead to serious health concerns. This is the least that you want when you are the primary caregiver for your ill dad or mom. There’s a lot that you can do to keep stress, isolation, and sadness at bay while you are caregiving for your loved ones in the family.
Here’re some quick tips that can help you feel loved and decrease your stress and physical strain, so you never think about taking your elderly loved ones to assisted living and keep them with you for as long as possible.
Being realistic about the situation is key
If you have been the caregiver for some time, it is important to take a few minutes and calculate how much care you can offer without burning yourself too much and putting your happiness and health at risk. Be realistic about what is possible, so you’re not stressed while taking care of your sick loved ones in the family.
Understand the magnitude of care needed
You can end up being too busy with the day-to-day caregiving activities that you fail to take a holistic view and look at the bigger picture. Caregiving is not for a day or two; it can last for a few months or even years.
Make a list of all the things and activities caregiving involves. Note down what things you do at what time of the day for at least a week. After that, refer to your notes, and you’ll start finding a pattern to what your elder needs while caregiving. This will help you plan better, be organized and have some time to give to yourself to relieve some stress.
Share your caregiving responsibilities with others in the family
Asking for help when needed is key. Look around and discuss your caregiving duties with others in the family – your partner, kids, extended family or friends. Identify tasks that they can do like shopping, taking the elderly to doctors, spending time with them, doing their laundry, etc.
This will help you get breaks from your everyday busy caregiving schedule and give you an opportunity to bond with your friends or other caregiving community groups to release some pressure.
Discuss with your family about what they can easily take up and be flexible in sharing caregiving activities with them, so they don’t feel under the pump too.
Keep your financial pressure low
Let’s admit – caregiving is not cheap. Offering care for an elderly member of the family can be quite expensive and lead to financial pressure in no time. Keeping an eye on the caregiving costs and cutting back on them where possible will keep you stress-free and reduce that financial pressure.
Look for extra help
Being the primary caregiver, everyone expects you to be doing absolutely everything for the elders. And this can be hard to accomplish as you need some time for yourself too.
Identify tasks that can be given to others and look for ways how you can save some time for yourself. Be creative in how tasks can be done differently and be patient so that you can think better.
Discuss with your family and seek help from them to take up a caregiving task on a regular basis. You can start taking your elders to local adult day programs where they can spend a few hours with other elders and socialize a bit. This can be great in giving you some free hours during the day for yourself.
Look around for in-home caregiving support and hire someone to help. Make use of online services where you can to save time – for example, order your shopping things online, so they get delivered to your doorstep.
Anything that helps you save time can be a bonus while caregiving.
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