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Family Caregivers Getting Help

Build a Team When Caring for Your Aging Parents

 

Two neighbors were chatting, and one asked the other how she’s been doing after her mom’s stroke. The neighbor often heard the other neighbor leaving for the hospital very early in the morning. She also knew about the care needs of the dad, who had dementia.

The other neighbor admitted she was feeling overwhelmed. As the medical power of attorney, she felt the pressure of making medical decisions, being on-duty at all hours to help her dad, and being present at the hospital.

She wasn’t sure she could keep up. In addition to the dozens of daily to-do tasks, she had to maintain a calm emotional state and be the leaning post for her parents.

Does this sound familiar? When was the last time you looked at your dad’s care needs in terms of your health? If you’re doing everything for your parents and little for yourself, it’s important to change that. It’s time to build your team.

The Goal of a Team

Why is a team critical? Caring for aging parents is emotionally challenging. Even if they’re always cooperative and upbeat, it’s hard seeing your parents’ abilities change. As much as you don’t want to think of them struggling to do things like cooking their meals, driving a car, or doing their own shopping, the day will come when they need help.

With a team in place, you have an emotional support system in place. Whether your other family members are involved or have professional caregivers, you have someone else available to compare notes, vent frustrations, and celebrate unexpected moments.

A team also ensures you have days off when you need them. If you’re the primary family caregiver and wake up feeling sick, you shouldn’t help your parents out. First, you need time to heal. Second, you don’t want to make them sick. They may not bounce back as quickly as you can.

How Do You Build a Team?

Where do you start? Talk to the rest of your family and any close family friends. You want to see if anyone is willing to help out each month. Your brother may have Fridays off and be happy to spend the day doing meal prep for the next week. Your cousin may be willing to pick up your mom and bring her along on grocery shopping day.

Discuss the things your parents cannot do without assistance. If they need medication reminders, that’s a daily task. If they need someone to do the laundry, that’s a weekly task. Create a care schedule that fits their requirements. Plan accordingly from that care schedule.

When you don’t have anyone to help with your parents’ care needs, call a home care agency. You want to have home care aides fill in gaps as needed. This way, your parents never have to go without, and you don’t have to reschedule your pressing appointments and responsibilities to make sure you’re free.

If you are considering home care in Almena, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!

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Caregiver Stress Family Caregivers

Have You Stopped to Think About Your Own Self-Care Goals?

When was the last time you thought about self-care? Your teen has a game and wants you there. Your younger child needs your help with a research project. Your boss needs you to work overtime again. Your spouse has a business function and doesn’t want to go alone. During all of this, you’re also helping your mom and dad with their daily activities of living.

It’s easy to get caught up in helping others and lose track of yourself. Pushing off self-care isn’t ideal. The best case scenario is that you become exhausted and have to walk away for a bit. Family caregivers often push off things like dental appointments or medical exams. While it’s easy to put yourself last, your health and wellness won’t wait for you to catch up.

Things Family Caregivers Need for Self-Care

Self-care is more than seeing your doctor, eating the right foods, and exercising. It’s also about your mental health. It would be best if you took time off to do things you enjoy. You love to fish, so be sure to make that part of your self-care agenda.

You haven’t gone out with your friends or spouse in months. Take time to go out, socialize, and release your stress. Maybe, you haven’t found time to go hiking even though it makes you happy. It’s time to go hiking.

Sleep is another vital part of self-care that family caregivers overlook. Experts feel adults need seven or eight hours of sleep each night. Eight is ideal. When was the last time you were able to get in all eight hours?

Take a night off. Have dinner early, take a relaxing bath, and head to your bedroom. If you have kids at home, your partner can take care of them for the rest of the night. Read a book while your body winds down from a busy day. When you feel tired, turn off your reading light and go to sleep.

Discover the Benefits of Respite Care

Stop right now and think about the things you haven’t done for yourself. Come up with a list of the most important to the least important. Catching up on medical exams, dental visits, and eye exams needs to be near the top. Socialization and time to yourself need to follow. Now, make sure you start crossing off that list.

Professional caregivers from a home care agency help you out by assisting your parents. Take some days off, see your doctor, go out with friends, and stay in bed all morning. You’ll return to your parents refreshed, feeling better about yourself, and ready to provide the best care possible. Schedule caregivers today.

If you are considering caregivers in Paw Paw, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!