Our parents cared for us for years throughout our childhood—preparing our meals, cleaning our homes, and doing our laundry. However, when the time comes that they need us to do the same in return, it can be a challenge to balance it with our typical lifestyles. It’s no surprise then, that 40% of caregivers are in high-burden situations.
Luckily, there are strategies that can effectively prevent caregiver fatigue. Here are but a few of them:
Remember That Your Work Is Valuable
There is no doubt about your willingness to care for your elderly loved one. In your heart of hearts, you know that what you’re doing for your parent is generous and kind; however, it can be easy to forget how valuable the work that you do really is.
Think of it this way—you could hire a professional caregiver to offer your loved one the same services you provide. The average assisted living community has an annual cost of $48,000, every penny of which is worth it to offer your relative a safe and happy home. The next time you feel as though your caregiving contributions don’t carry value, remember the alternative cost.
Remember to Take Care of Yourself Too
You spend all day caring for your responsibilities at work, for your children at home, and then for your elderly loved one afterwards. With so many competing priorities, it can seem genuinely impossible to make time for yourself.
However, if you’re not operating at peak capacity, how can you be expected to care for someone else just as well? Be sure to schedule the time you need to get a good night’s sleep, nutritious meals, and some physical activity too.
Remember to Get Support When You Need It
Just because you’re the primary caregiver for your loved one doesn’t mean you need to be the only caregiver. In fact, caring for an older adult requires a full team of supporters.
Reach out to your siblings and other family members for additional help so that you can take a breather now and then. Consider hiring in-home help from a professional care aide for the tasks that you’re not comfortable with or able to complete.
Being a caregiver is as emotionally rewarding as it is challenging, so we encourage you to ask for help when you need it. Keep caregiver fatigue at bay and consider Kaplan Development Group’s senior living communities for additional assistance for your elderly loved one.