Your life has been a whirlwind of activity for the past several years due to your busy work schedule and household. But now your aging in place father’s declining health has reached the point he’s going to need some daily living assistance. As his eldest child, dad’s pending care has become a priority that you’re simply going to have to find time for. But you’ll also need to consider ways to care for yourself so that you don’t get run down. Thankfully, staying recharged and refreshed is possible when using these tips from the pros.
Signs of Caregiver Fatigue
Providing care to an elderly loved one is a labor of love, but millions of family caregivers every year experience a condition called “caregiver fatigue”. Caregiver fatigue is common amongst members of the “Sandwich Generation”, or those adults who are caught in between raising children and caring for an elderly parent at the same time.
These are some common signs of caregiver fatigue:
- Feeling anxious, depressed, helpless, resentful or overwhelmed
- Not eating right, which causes rapid weight loss or gain
- Feeling emotionally and physically run down all day long
- Substance abuse, including prescription drugs
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Trouble fighting off, or recovering from, illnesses
- Disinterest in activities once enjoyed
Once these symptoms start to set in, if changes aren’t made a caregiver’s condition can easily digress into full-blown “caregiver burnout”, placing their health and wellbeing at serious risk.
Staying Refreshed and Recharged
Here are some ways to avoid getting burned out while providing the care dad needs:
Keep Your Body Strong
You can’t take care of someone else if you’re not taking care of yourself. Keep your body and mind strong by:
- Eating a nutritious diet
- Exercising regularly
- Seeing your doctor annually for a physical
- Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily
- Not abusing drugs or alcohol
- Using proper lifting techniques when assisting him in the home
- Set Realistic Goals
No matter how hard you try, dad’s condition is probably going to get worse. That’s not a reflection upon you, but simply the reality of growing older. As dad’s health continues to decline, set realistic daily goals designed to keep him feeling happier, loved and more comfortable.
For example, if dad’s homebound due to a chronic medical condition, sit down with him and play one of his favorite board games, or take dad fishing at his “secret” spot. In the end, choose quality over quantity when it comes to dad’s care.
The biggest reward that a caregiver can experience is seeing the joy they bring to a loved one’s face. But it’s also important to pamper yourself at least once a month for your efforts. Some of the ways to do so include:
- Take in a movie and go to dinner with your spouse or close friend.
- Attend a concert or play.
- Spend the day lounging around in your PJs while binge-watching your favorite show.
- Enjoy a spa day and get a manicure or pedicure.
- Go on a weekend getaway with your spouse
Ask for Help
- Other family members, close friends or trusted neighbors
- Volunteers that work strictly with seniors
- Adult daycare programs
- Senior meal and transportation services
- Professional respite caregivers from a licensed home care agency
If you need some emotional support, consider joining a local caregiver support group where you can get some advice while sharing your challenges with others.
Our Respite Caregivers Keep At-Home Seniors Comfortable
Caring for an aging in place loved one is highly rewarding, but it’s also difficult when you have your own household to manage or live far away. When you need a hand, call Charter Home Health. As a fully licensed and insured agency, our carefully screened in-home respite caregivers will serve as an extended family in your senior’s home so they can continue aging comfortably in place right where they want to be.
Our highly trained aides can provide respite care services like light housework, meals, personal hygiene, transportation, medication reminders and companionship. And, all our reliable home care services can be individually combined in an affordable package when and where you need them! To learn more about why families in your area are placing their trust in Charter Home Health, or to schedule a FREE in-home care assessment for your senior today, please visit: www.charterhomehealth.net now!