It’s easy to become so engrossed in caring for an older loved one that you put your own care needs on the back burner. Neglecting your own needs can become a problem if you become physically, mentally, or emotionally exhausted—which won’t be good for either you or the family member you’re caring for. Here are five tips to keep in mind as you create a self-care schedule to reduce your risk of experiencing caregiver burnout.
1. Set Reasonable Boundaries with Your Loved One
Caregiver stress may develop because your loved one gets into the habit of randomly requesting assistance. Granted, this is understandable for times when it’s necessary for your loved one’s safety and wellbeing. However, if your loved one is still fairly independent, set reasonable boundaries (e.g., only reaching out to you during later hours if it’s an urgent issue). Doing so can make it easier for you to:
• Stay connected with friends
• Tend to your own personal needs
• Keep up with regular doctors’ appointments
Adding a professional caregiver to your support team can enable you to have the time for the self-care you need and deserve. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide elder care. Turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
Sometimes the reason for a lack of a meaningful self-care schedule is an inability to prioritize, which could happen if caregiving duties slowly and steadily blend in with your personal life. Take stock of your situation to determine if this is what’s happening to you. If so, prioritize by honestly assessing what matters most in your own life and considering factors such as when your loved one seems to need care the most. Next, compartmentalize by basing your self-care schedule on what’s most important for both you and your loved one
3. Make Arrangements with Other Family Members
Being a primary family caregiver doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. Even if you don’t feel this way, other family members may shy away from offering to lend a hand if you haven’t actually reached out to them. Get everybody on the same page by having a family meeting so you have a chance to discuss what kind of assistance you might need to maintain a reasonable self-care schedule.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, you don’t have to manage everything on your own. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Fort Myers home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
4. Look for Local Resurces that Could Lighten Your Load
In some instances, caregivers are unable to be diligent about self-care because of a full to-do list that includes running errands, preparing daily meals, and doing household chores. If this applies to you, make self-care more of a priority by finding ways to lighten your load. One option is to see if there are local senior-specific resources available, such as:
• Senior transportation services
• Pharmacies that offer home delivery
• Meal delivery services
• Free or discounted yard care services for seniors
5. Discuss In-Home Care with Your Loved One
If you’re simply overwhelmed to the point where it’s significantly affecting your quality of life, consider in-home care, which is a service provided right in your loved one’s own home. Many of the agencies that offer home-based care have very flexible scheduling capabilities. Ultimately, this can allow you to take breaks to personally recharge, tend to your own needs, maintain a separate personal life, and continue to work without added guilt and worry because you know your loved one is being cared for by a compassionate professional.
Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Fort Myers, FL, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. Call Home Care Assistance today at (239) 449-4701 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.