When you are a family caregiver, you want to be able to offer your senior loved one with the best care possible. To do this, there are a few steps you can take in your own life that can help you achieve this.
Don’t Bottle Up Your Feelings
As a caregiver, there may be times when you feel anger or even resentment toward your loved one. This is perfectly natural and does not mean you love him or her any less. You should focus on finding a healthy outlet for sharing your feelings with others without judgment. Some places you can turn to include:
• Caregiver support groups
• Family or friends
• Your place of worship
• A therapist or counselor
Schedule Time for Yourself
To effectively care for your loved one, you must also take care of yourself. It is important to schedule time to relax and de-stress, daily if possible. This can be something as simple as setting aside time for a long, hot bath or arranging for a friend to watch your loved one while you get out of the house for a couple of hours. Try to engage in social activities outside the home at least once a week to avoid feeling isolated.
Attend to Your Physical Needs
Many Grand Rapids caregivers tend to put their own physical needs on the back burner. You can stay strong by eating a healthy diet, trying to get some form of exercise daily, and keeping up with doctor’s visits. You should also attempt to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. This can be difficult depending on your loved one’s needs. If necessary, arrange a caregiving schedule with family and friends or contact a home care agency to arrange for assistance.
Be Willing to Accept Help
It’s important to realize you cannot do everything by yourself. Family and friends are often a good source of assistance. Your doctor or local caregiver support group can put you in touch with local agencies that can provide everything from meal preparation and transportation to respite care in Grand Rapids.
Treating yourself to some much needed rest during National Family Caregivers Month is a great idea, but you may decide you need breaks more frequently. For at-home care Grand Rapids family caregivers can count on when they need respite, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to help your loved one with a variety of daily tasks, provide transportation, and assist with mobility if needed. For more information, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 616-243-0835.