As a Bay Area in home care agency we know all too well that many family members take on a huge burden alone – the burden of providing the best care for an aging loved one with dementia, Parkinson’s or other issues that make caregiving even more difficult than it already is. You may be a spouse, only child, or an adult child with siblings who have no interest in helping you care for an aging parent. Taking on the responsibility of caring for a senior can be overwhelming – and it isn’t good for your own physical or mental health. In order to provide the best care for someone who’s elderly, you have to take good care of yourself!
Family caregivers who take on this enormous task on their own often suffer themselves. In fact, you may develop what is known as caregiver syndrome, which includes depression, feelings of guilt or anger, and declining health. It’s a job that when taken care of on your own not only sacrifices the quality of care you provide an aging loved one, but your own health and care as well. So, what to do?
Set aside time for yourself. Whether you take a walk, read a good book or indulge in a long soak, be sure to take an hour each day to focus only on yourself. This is vital for your physical and emotional well-being.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even if your siblings won’t pitch in, there may be others who will such as your own children, your parent’s other grandchildren, the neighbor, your spouse. If you can get someone else to occasionally do some light cleaning, walk your aging loved one’s dog or do the grocery shopping, it will help more than you imagine. Every little bit helps!
Think about respite care. Many in home care providers such as Care Indeed provide respite care to give you a much-needed break. Trained, professional caregivers take care of hygiene, light household tasks, cooking, administering medications, even companionship. You enjoy time away to rejuvenate your mind and body and have peace of mind knowing your loved one is in good hands.
Take good care of yourself, it’s the only way you can give a senior your best effort! Outsource certain tasks when possible, and don’t turn down help from a neighbor or close friend. For compassionate care you can rely on in Palo Alto and other cities across the Bay Area, count on the respite care providers at Care Indeed.