Taking on the role of caregiver for your aging parent is a huge task.
Unlike a 9 to 5 job, this “job” takes place around the clock, seven days a week. It is both the most rewarding job you’ll ever have and the most exhausting. Your aging parent is fortunate to have you as a part of his life, so by being his caregiver and helping him to live independently in his home or apartment you are a vital part of his daily life.
A good caregiver has to also take care of herself.
Use the following tips in your caregiving to ensure that you are not only providing great care for your parent, but also for yourself. Remember, if you don’t take good care of yourself, you won’t be able to be a good caregiver for your parent.
- 1. Use technology to help you care for your parent. Luckily, there are lots of great technology tools out there to not only help you research the information you need but also stay connected with your parent.
- 2. Seek support from others. This is not a job you have to do alone! Ask family members, friends, and neighbors to be a part of your team. If you haven’t already, look into hiring a caregiver to help with household and caretaking tasks.
- 3. Be specific in asking for help. If you know Aunt Sue is a great baker, ask her if she can bake up your parent’s favorite breakfast goods. If little Sammy is a techno-genius, see if he can help your parent get set up on the needed online accounts.
- 4. Give yourself a break. Caretaking is hard work so schedule respite breaks for yourself by asking others to cover your duties for a day, a weekend, or even a week while you get away from it all. You’ll come back more refreshed and a better caregiver.
- 5. Learn how to communicate well with medical care providers. You will want to be able to make sure your parent is receiving the best medical care, so take notes and ask lots of questions when you meet with her doctors and physicians.
- 6. Organize. Whether it’s medical information, legal forms, or financial documentation, having the information you need on hand immediately will help you be less stressed when emergencies happen. A list of who to contact about what, with names and numbers and emails handy will go a long way in making any first steps taken a bit easier.
- 7. Keep yourself healthy. Don’t stop your exercise program or start to live from one fast food meal to the next, because it’s important you build the time into your day to continue healthy living habits.
- 8. Maintain your mental health. It’s not only important to maintain good physical health, but good mental health is also important. It’s not uncommon for caregivers to suffer from depression or anxiety because they try to juggle all the balls it takes to care for their parents as well as the other important people in their lives. If you feel yourself getting to an unhealthy mental state, take action to seek help.
Being a caregiver is one of the toughest jobs out there.
Treat yourself with grace and accept your boundaries and capabilities. You deserve to be cared for as well.
If you or someone you know needs a Caregiver in Mobile, AL, please contact the friendly caregivers at Hughes Home Care. We provide quality and affordable care for your elderly loved ones in our community. Call Us Today at 251-517-9901. Serving Mobile & Baldwin County.
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