Helpful Tips for Caregivers of Aging Parents
Caregiving can be one of the most difficult and time-consuming jobs for all those involved. It's not only a physically taxing task but also one that weighs heavily on your emotions. Because of the stresses that come with caregiving for aging parents and loved ones, it's easy for caregivers to develop health-related issues or become burned out as a result. Consider these tips to help you in providing the proper care for not only your loved one, but yourself as well:
1. Understand Your Senior's Needs
How much care does your loved one really need? Start writing down what things you're doing and when you're doing them to gauge your senior's needed level of care. Do they need 24-hour supervision? Are they showing signs of cognitive decline? Are their medications too much to keep up with? These are questions you must ask yourself to determine your plan of action.
2. Share the Responsibility
Do you have a sibling or close relative that could help carry the load? Ask them if they can split duties with you. Breaks are crucial to keeping your sanity and giving your body and mind much-needed rest. After all, a caregiver must first care for themselves to adequately care for anyone else. Acknowledge that you'll need to be flexible and creative to find a solution that works for you and your loved one. It won't be perfect, but it will certainly reduce some of your stress.
3. Reduce Financial Strain
Caring for older adults can be expensive and often becomes a financial hardship to caregivers, as they are trying to provide for their own household as well as their parents. There are a variety of ways to reduce caregiving expenses such as lowering medical bills and discovering government programs designed to provide aid to caregivers. Anything helps when it comes to reducing the costs of caregiving.
4. Find Extra Help
It's important to remember that you are not a superhero. Although you want to provide your loved one with the world, it's impossible for one person to do everything on their own. At some point, you will need assistance. There are a variety of options available to you that can work depending upon your senior's individual needs. Some of these options include: