While being a caregiver can be rewarding, it can also be extremely stressful. It is very common for caregivers to feel frustrated, tired, and even depressed. As a result, you will want to make life as easy as possible to reduce stress. Following are some ways to help you accomplish that goal.
As a caregiver, you will be asked to do many things, but that doesn't mean you have to do everything. You have to create boundaries for your loved ones. If you are taking personal time to do something you want to do and your loved one wants to go to the store, you have every right to wait until you’ve finished your hobby or task to go to the store. However, you have to be clear about your boundaries. If you haven’t told anyone else about them and your loved one thinks you are ignoring their wants and needs, they will likely get angry or upset.
If you agree to be the caregiver in your family, it may feel like it is your sole responsibility to care for your loved one. However, sometimes you might become overwhelmed and need help. Don't be afraid to ask for and accept help when this happens.
Follow a Routine
Creating a routine can make life easier for the caregiver and the loved one because everyone will know what to expect and what needs to be done on a daily basis. A routine can also help when dealing with people with dementia. Because their brain doesn't grasp change very quickly, schedule changes can make them agitated.
Use Technology to Help
Technology can help manage medication, healthcare appointments, socialization opportunities, meals, and even transportation. In addition, using technology can make caregiving easier because it reduces the number of things you need to remember. After all, there is an app that will remind you.
You can also sign up for grocery or meal delivery. Ordering groceries online and having them delivered to your home can free up a caregiver's time and energy. Ordering groceries online or having meals delivered weekly can help you stick to a budget, as well.
Prioritize Your Health
It is natural for a caregiver to be so focused on someone else's health that they may shift their personal health needs to the background. However, taking care of yourself ensures you can continue caring for another person. Therefore, you will need to prioritize your health, both physical and mental.
Take Advantage of Quiet Times
When you have some quiet time, make sure to enjoy it. If you do not use downtime to recharge, you will likely get burnout, which can cause significant mental and physical health problems. So, take time to do the things you like and socialize with your friends and family. Your mental and physical health is just as important as that of the person you are caring for.
Work as a Team
As individuals get older, they tend to get more stubborn, so making them do things they don't want to do can be extremely difficult. Working with them as a team, instead of against them, will make caregiving much easier because they will likely be more cooperative. Allow them to make decisions about their activities where you can, and discuss what they’ll be doing with them, so they feel they have some control over their lives.
Contact a Chapel Hill Elder Law Attorney
Being a caregiver can be challenging, but there are many ways to make it easier. A Chapel Hill elder law attorney can point you in the direction of resources that can be of significant help to you and your aging loved one. Contact us for a consultation today.