As any parent will readily attest, caring for another human being 24/7 can take its toll—physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s not just parental care giving that can sap your strength, though. Taking care of an older parent or family member can also be taxing. Caregiver stress and burnout are very real things, but the good news is that they can be avoided. The key is to remember to care for your own needs, never letting the needs of others eclipse them or push them totally out of focus.
For caregivers who are starting to feel some tension, here are a few basic ways to give yourself a break, and to tend to the important matters of self-care.
Speak up. Don’t feel like you have to carry your burdens all alone, or in silence. Let your family members know that you’re struggling, and might need a little support of your own. Simply giving voice to your anxieties can go a long way.
Get others involved. Even if you’re the primary caregiver, you can still enlist other family members in performing a few tasks. Maybe one family member, who lives near the grocery store, can volunteer to make weekly grocery runs. Maybe one person can simply keep up with utility bill payments. Every little bit helps!
Get a massage. Spend an afternoon doing something that busts stress — getting a massage, going to a yoga class, or whatever else. Ask a family member to take over as caregiver just for a few hours.
Set up a regular check-in. Appoint someone to call once a week and find out what’s going on, what the needs are, etc., and then convey that information to friends, church members, and other family members.
Learn to say yes. When someone offers to help, say yes. Relinquish control, even if it’s just for a small matter.
Ask for relief. If you think your aging loved one has reached the point where full-time care is needed, be willing to say so—and to take the next step of investigating the options at CountryHouse.
Find out more about the benefits CountryHouse can offer. Call us today.