Elder Care in Durham NC
Many family caregivers overlook how important it is to care for themselves while they’re caring for their elderly loved ones. By doing what you can to reduce your own stress levels, you become a better caregiver for your loved one.
Gain as Much Knowledge as You Can about Your Loved One’s Health
The more information and knowledge that you have about your loved one’s health, the more effectively you can take care of her. Some of the information that you need includes how to care for her now, how her health can change, what behavioral changes might happen, and how to spot potential trouble. As you gain a deeper understanding, you can share that with other family members and elder care providers who also care for your loved one.
Share Caregiving Responsibilities with Other Family Members
Other family members may want to help more with your loved one’s care, but they may not be certain how to go about it. The more that you include other family members in the daily happenings of your loved one’s life, the more they’ll feel welcomed and able to help out. Start out with smaller tasks and then have other family members work up to more involved tasks.
Set up an Emotional Support System for Yourself
You absolutely need an emotional support system for yourself in order to deal with your emotions properly. Your support system won’t necessarily look like anyone else’s, so you don’t have to worry that you’re not doing it right. You might include friends, neighbors, members of your support groups, or even a counselor or therapist. Make sure that these people help to lift you up when you’re feeling bogged down.
Pace Yourself and Respect Your Own Limitations
If you’re trying to do too much completely on your own, you’re going to burn yourself out. It’s essential that you learn what your limitations are and that you pace yourself to keep well away from hitting those limitations whenever possible. Journaling can help with this because in your past entries you can start to recognize patterns of behavior and thoughts that appear before you feel pushed to your limits.
Plan as Much as You Can and Yet Remain Flexible
Planning is important when you’re caring for an elderly loved one, but you also have to remain flexible so that you can take every day as it happens. This seems contradictory, but it’s key to helping you to care for yourself. If you’re locked into rigid scheduling and feel compelled to stick with that schedule, you’re actually causing yourself more stress.
By taking care of yourself, you’ll be in a better place to take care of your loved one.