Taking care of loved ones as they age is important for many families around the world. Yet, no matter how much we love our parents or other family in need, it’s no secret that family caregiving can be an extremely stressful task.
According to the AARP, 1 in 5 families are taking on this monumental task right now, and that number is climbing. For family caregivers struggling to provide quality care 24/7, here are some tips to help prevent caregiver burnout, so you can be your best self at all times.
It’s not always ideal or fair for a family member to try and shoulder the sole responsibilities of caring for an aging or sick loved one, especially when they have a family of their own to take care of. When your mother was caring for you, even if she was a single mother, chances are she had a support network. It might have been your father helping around the house, a daycare to watch you while she was at work, or public school to give her a break.
Now that the roles are reversed, it’s important to get similar help. This might mean respite care to help care for your loved one, to get the chores done, and to take your loved one to appointments. It can also be a family member bringing prepared meals, so you don’t have to cook. Our professional caregivers are always available to provide respite care for those throughout Annapolis, Crownsville, Davidson, Bowie and Anne Arundel County.
Practice Self Care
Many caregivers are great at taking care of absolutely everyone else. What they’re less good at? Taking care of themselves. It’s important to your health and wellbeing that you have some time away, that you take those breaks, that you have that girl’s night out.
If you can, take advantage of respite care to do these things.
Everyone has their limits, but caregiving can quickly flood over those limits as if they don’t exist. It’s important to enforce your boundaries and if you’re not okay with something—find a way to bring life back within those bounds.
If you really need to go home at the end of the day and be with your own family, someone else needs to step up for that period of time.
Join a support network
No one else understands the stress of caring for a family member quite like another family caregiver. You may find some solace in joining a support network of other people in the same situation. You may be able to get tips, advice, or just commiseration on how it feels to be a family caregiver.
Don’t stress over what you can’t control
There are things you won’t be able to fix about being a family caregiver. We can’t cure cancer ourselves, unwind time, or force our family to do their part of caregiving. If there are things you can’t control about caregiving, it’s okay to let go of that, and not stress over these things.
Caregiving is a big task, but it’s worth it in the end. As you navigate this time in your life, taking care of yourself and getting the help you need can play a role in making sure you treasure this time instead of resenting it.
Our caregivers enjoy lending a helping hand. If you need one during this time, we’d be happy to assist you. Please contact Homewatch CareGivers Annapolis for a free in-home consultation.