If you have recently assumed the role of caregiver for your spouse or senior parent, you might be struggling to find your way. It can be a challenging role to navigate on top of an already busy life. It isn't uncommon for new caregivers to feel stressed and worry that they aren't doing a good job caring for their loved one.
We have a few tips you might find helpful as you begin this new challenge.
5 Tips for New Family Caregivers
Most caregivers juggle a variety of roles and responsibilities. They might include working outside the home, caring for young children, dedicating time to important volunteer work in the community, or a combination of these. It will help you feel more in control if you get organized and create a weekly schedule. Give yourself time each week to plan ahead. You'll also reduce anxiety if you assemble a binder that contains important information, such as your senior family member's physicians, medications, and appointments.
Ask for and accept help:
Start off on the right foot by accepting that you can't do it all, especially alone. Family caregivers often feel guilty accepting help when it is offered. After a while, friends and family members stop offering. Give yourself permission to explore options for help and to accept assistance when friends and loved ones extend an offer.
Join a support group:
One way to manage the emotional and physical strain caused by caregiving is to connect with fellow caregivers. An online support group makes it easier to engage with others at a time that is convenient for your schedule. The Family Caregiver Alliance can help you locate an online caregiver support group.
Make time for you:
When you are busy caring for everyone else, it's easy to neglect your personal well-being. This can contribute to a decline in your own health, and it's a mistake new caregivers often make. Try to take fifteen to twenty minutes a day to pause and care for yourself. Meditate, go for a walk, practice yoga, or ride a bike. Also give yourself permission to enjoy a night out with friends and family on a regular basis.
Explore senior living:
Creating a backup plan for your loved one's care can give you peace of mind. That means visiting local assisted living communities and finding one or two you think would be a good fit for your family member. You might even want to use the community's respite care services to give yourself an opportunity to rest and take a break from caregiving.
Speak with a Local Senior Care Advisor for Free
When you are ready to start exploring local assisted living communities, we are here to help. One of our experienced local care advisors will work with you to evaluate your options and make an informed choice. Our assistance is always free for seniors and their families. Contact us today to learn more