When an elderly loved one falls ill, or has a chronic or terminal disease, and you are their primary caretaker, it’s important that you take care of yourself, too.
Maintaining your own physical and emotional well-being is the key to providing quality, compassionate care for your loved one, without finding yourself feeling fatigued, frustrated, or depressed.
Educate yourself on the best care to give
Depending upon the type of illness or disease your elderly loved one has, the type of care you give may come about naturally and not require much in the way of hands-on assistance. In other cases, you may have to assume the role of a full-time caregiver.
Speak with your loved one’s doctors and any nurses that have played a role in providing care in order to fully understand what their needs are and how you can best meet them. If your elderly loved one has memory issues or Alzheimer’s, use a myID medical ID bracelet by Endevr and alert neighbors and other people in the community so that your loved one will always be safe.
Establish a schedule
A regular routine is crucial to managing the needs and household of an elderly loved one. From using specific times for medication dosages to ensuring that meals are always served around the same time every day, keeping things consistent can ease stress on both your loved one and yourself.
Live as normally as possible
Too many family members make the mistake of putting their lives on hold in order to fully meet their elderly loved one’s needs. But often, these needs are overestimated, and the time and energy spent caring for this person can wind up being exhausting and time-consuming, leaving you with little energy or time to meet your own needs and wants.
Try to continue living as normally as possible, and make time for the little things like shopping, date nights, dinner at home, breakfast in bed, and whatnot.
Ask for help
If there are other family members who live or work nearby, don’t hesitate to ask them to step in every so often to help you with housework, preparing meals, or running errands.
While they may not feel comfortable providing the hands-on care that you provide, they can certainly ease your burden by taking care of more domestic and routine chores, such as mowing the lawn or picking up groceries.
Take a break
We all need a break every now and again, and this includes you, too. If you find yourself repeatedly feeling run down, stressed out, and frustrated, it’s time to take a break.
Consider asking a family member to step in for a few days, or even hire an in-home aide to take over, so that you can take a few days to simply relax and pamper yourself.
About the Author:
A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica is breaking her way into freelance writing. She has already done articles for a variety of industries, ranging from technology to beauty to health. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. You can connect with her here.
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