Welcome Caregivers of Aging Parents or Loved Ones! I’m so very happy you’re here. You are amazing and I want you to know that you are not alone. This blog will help find the resources, tips, and advice you need for caring for the elderly. Why am I qualified to give advice? After spending 10 years working with the elderly in Skilled Nursing Facilities and Home Health as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, I have learned a great deal and hope to encourage you in this phase of life.
Caregivers of Aging Parents MUST Take Care of Themselves
- Caregivers of aging parents sometimes wear out quickly. Taking time off to care for yourself is so very important so you don’t burn out and can continue caring for your loved one.
- Get outside help to give yourself a break. In this blog, I will share the resources I know of to help with this.
- Allow yourself time to adjust to this phase of life. Be patient with yourself and your loved one.
5 Tips to Care for Yourself
1. Do Something YoU Enjoy Daily
Whether it’s gardening, working on puzzles, talking with friends, watching a favorite TV show, prayer, taking a walk, taking a bubble bath, reading a favorite book, whatever brings YOU joy and peace, try to pick one thing to do every day.
You’ll find yourself refreshed and able to handle the daily challenges when caring for your elderly parents.
2. Get Help!
If you have friends or family members willing to help, elicit that help! Most people are willing to help to give you a much needed break but don’t know what to do. Be specific with what you need and delegate responsibilities.
Sometimes it’s worth it to pay someone qualified to help out. Especially if you don’t have friends or family that can help out, or if your senior requires a lot of care.
Sometimes, ask for help just so you can do something YOU love! Don’t always ask for help just to spend your time running errands.
3. Take Time to Eat and Rest
While this might seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised how many caregivers of elderly parents neglect these important aspects of self-care. Especially if their senior loved one requires almost total care.
Remember, you can’t help them if you don’t take care of these basic needs for yourself.
4. Treat yourself to a spa day (or a hunting day if you're my hubby)
While a spa day might not be your thing, maybe you like to hunt! My sister-in-law does. The point is every once in a while take a WHOLE day doing something that rejuvenates you.
You will be a better caregiver and your loved one or client will pick up on your mood and attitude when you take the time to care for you!
5. Get Outdoors
This is important not only for you, but also your elderly parent! It will do you both good to get outside especially in nice weather. Even if it’s cooler out, bundle them up and spend even a short time outside.
If it’s not possible to get them outside, do what you can to get yourself outdoors for a little bit. Seems like a simple solution, but you’ll be amazed at how your much better you’ll feel.
To Sum up
- Do something you enjoy every day
- Get help so you can do something you love, not just running errands
- Take time to eat and rest
- Treat yourself to a spa day
- Get outdoors
I have lots of ideas to help you enjoy this season of life while caring for your elderly loved one. Yes, you can enjoy this time and grow even closer together! Again, taking the time to care for yourself will help you be energized to give your loved one the care they need. Be patient, and remember this is a transition for them, too!
These tips are just a start. Check out my other blog posts for helping you care for yourself and your senior loved ones.