If you are someone who cares for an elderly family member, you definitely understand the challenges and hardships that are involved. The amount of time that you have to give up, as well as the energy that you will need, is staggering. Even though you spend all of your time caring for your loved one, you still need to live your life. This will often leave you feeling tired, emotional, and stressed.
Caring for the elderly is a labor of love though, and even though you may need to deal with a number of very difficult things, you will persevere because you care. There may be times when there are tensions between yourself and your loved one. They may find it difficult to be looked after by someone else, particularly if they have been very independent for their whole life. The feeling that they are imposing on your life, or that they are in any way a burden on you can be tough to deal with, as well. As such, there may be times when things are tense between the two of you.
You may struggle to maintain your relationships, and continue with your other life commitments such as working or parenting. Spending so much of your time and energy on caring for someone else can leave you tired, and stressed. This can take its toll on your health too. So what can you do about it?
Get Some Help
The first thing you need to come to terms with is that you can’t do everything by yourself. With all of the best will in the world, you will eventually burn out, which is damaging to both you and those around you. So, get some help! If other people within the family circle can help out, split the duties, and share the load.
Hire Help From a Care Company
You might want to look into hiring a caretaker to come around and visit each day. This will mean that your loved one will be getting the support of someone who is a trained professional. Having a person come and help with aspects of the daily care routine can make things much easier on you. You will also have someone who you will be able to get advice and support from.
Take A Break
You may want to consider respite care from time-to-time. Even if you are not going away on holiday, having a break at home will give you the opportunity to catch-up on life and get some rest. Looking after yourself is really important too, especially when someone else’s care depends upon it.
Your loved one may need palliative care, and as such, being in a care home might be the best option for them. There will be round-the-clock care, and they will have fully trained professionals on hand who can help them when they need it most. Taking this option does not reflect on you or your ability to care. It is about understanding your limitations and making a difficult decision, which will mean the best care possible is given.
Remember, you can’t take care of others – old or young – if you don’t take care of yourself first! Nutrition, exercise, and self-care are all vital to your own well-being, so don’t forget to take care of YOU!