How to Care for Yourself While Caring for an Aging Parent
Caring for an aging parent takes dedication, but all the hard work is worth it when you notice how your relationship is growing stronger. For many caregivers, learning how to strike a balance between their personal needs and their loved one’s needs is one of the hardest parts of the first year of caregiving. As you begin to gain experience as a caregiver, use these tips to make sure you take care of yourself just as well as you do your aging parent.
Understand the Importance of Self-Care
Your parent spent years teaching you how to live a healthy lifestyle. Now, your loved one can benefit from you being physically and mentally strong enough to provide the care he or she needs. Think about what could happen if you develop a serious illness or break down from stress. Making your health a priority ensures your loved one benefits from your ability to continue being a caregiver.
Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Cincinnati, OH, home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
Create a List of Five-Minute Stress Relievers
When your schedule is packed, you might only be able to find a few minutes here and there to relax. The great news is that mini-breaks can add up to a significant amount of stress relief when you take several a day. Find what helps you relax best, and write down a list of several options you can choose from when you get five minutes to yourself. From listening to your favorite song while your aging parent bathes to rubbing scented lotion on your hands after washing dishes, a little bit of pampering can go a long way toward maintaining your emotional health.
Keep Up with Your Health Checkups
After taking your loved one to medical appointments, you might be tempted to skip your annual physical or reschedule your dental exam. However, those regular checkups make a big difference in catching minor problems before they get severe. If necessary, ask another caregiver to step in so you can visit the doctor. The same thing goes for making sure you get your exercise and finding time to shop for healthy foods. Maintaining your health can help you keep up with your busy caregiving schedule.
Make sure you hire a trusted caregiver to spend time with your loved one when you are attending medical appointments or taking care of other personal business. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care agency, Cincinnati families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.
Maintain a Strong Support System
Many caregivers try to do it all themselves, which often leads to them falling ill. Reach out to others who can help you take care of your health. For example, hiring a respite caregiver gives your loved one someone new to lift his or her spirits while you attend a checkup or spend an hour at the gym to stay fit. Adding a respite caregiver to your support system also allows you to take care of your health without feeling guilty, as your loved one will be excited to spend a few hours with someone he or she knows will be ready to enjoy a fun activity or indulge in an engaging conversation.
In Cincinnati, OH, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family. Call Home Care Assistance today at 513.891.2273 to learn about our premier respite care services as well as our specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.