Caring for a parent or loved one is an underestimated commitment and requires a strong, loving individual to take on this role. The part you play in your loved one’s life is rewarding but can be overwhelming and stressful if you are a new family caregiver.
HarborChase Senior Living understands how difficult family caregiving can be at times, and we are here to help. For those new to senior care, start with these helpful tips to create a better caregiving journey for everyone involved!
1. Create a Routine
This tip may require some time to work out the kinks, but once a routine is established, your day-to-day responsibilities will run more smoothly. By sticking to a daily routine, you can eliminate some of the guesswork and reduce stress because both you and your loved one know what to expect each day.
Sit down and communicate with your loved one. What are his or her daily expectations? Set ideal mealtimes, showers or baths, errands and outings, and when it is time to wind down at the end of the day. With a daily agenda, you, the caregiver, and your loved one are on the same page.
2. Accept Help
It’s very hard to do this job alone, so it is important for you to realize that it is okay to ask for or accept assistance when it is offered.
With an established routine (as mentioned above), you know exactly what tasks still need to be accomplished and specifically what others can do to help lighten your load. Assistance comes in many forms. It could be as simple as sitting with your senior loved one while you run an errand or taking him or her to an appointment so you can attend to other responsibilities.
However, make sure that your loved one is comfortable with the arrangement before making changes to the routine you’ve established.
3. Find Caregiver Support
Feeling overwhelmed at times while caregiving is natural, especially for those who are newer to the responsibilities. Understand that this is normal and that others are going through similar, if not the same, situations. It does help to socialize with peers who are embarking on this journey with you. This sense of community allows you to see and hear that you are not alone. Additionally, it gives you the chance to talk about your feelings and emotions with a group of empathetic people who truly understand what you are going through.
4. Take Care of Your Own Health
It is easy to get caught up in the caregiving role and mindset; however, you need to remember that as the caregiver, you also have needs. Set aside time to take care of yourself and reset. If you ignore your own needs, soon enough, you will burn out and no longer be able to fulfill your caregiving duties to the best of your ability.
Take a couple of hours to watch a movie, take a bath, or even lie down to take a nap. You are still an individual that requires to practice self-care.
In addition to relaxing, your health is also an important aspect of caregiving. If you are sick or have a weakened immune system, you will not be able to help as you should. Practice healthy eating and regular exercise in order to maintain your health.
5. Explore Senior Living
Caring for a senior parent or loved one is a rewarding job, but there may come a time when the care you are able to offer at home is not enough. Luckily, there are communities that specialize in caring for seniors, such as HarborChase Senior Living.
There are significant benefits of transitioning your loved one into a senior living community.
Sense of Community & Social Engagement
Between your daily routine and errands, your schedule is likely hectic. This can leave the senior in your care lacking social engagement and interaction. Senior living communities give residents the chance to establish new friendships and socialize on a regular basis.
No Home Maintenance
What happens when an unexpected home repair is needed? Depending on its urgency, you squeeze it into your busy schedule, but other tasks may get postponed. Or, depending on the situation, you may not have the finances to cover a last-minute cost or repair. This adds unnecessary stress to your caregiving role.
Senior living communities take care of home maintenance! No more worrying about the grass getting cut or the leaky sink, which can reduce the stress for the resident and their family members.
As a family caregiver, you have other responsibilities and duties and may not always be immediately available to provide help in unexpected situations.
When your loved one lives in a senior living community, he or she can receive assistance without delay. Beyond excellent care, HarborChase transforms assisted living into a truly empowered lifestyle. We offer a perfect blend of modern amenities and classic sophistication for our residents and their guests to enjoy.
If you find yourself needing extra support for your senior parent or loved one, HarborChase Senior Living may be the right option for you. We offer independent, assisted living, memory care, and respite care services, and we invite you to find a community near you to learn more.