Caregiving for an aging or disabled loved one such as a spouse or parent can be a very rewarding experience. But it's important to remember that asking for help in caring for a loved one can be a critical step to warding off exhaustion, health issues and caregiver burnout. In fact, one study found that as many as one in three caregivers rate their stress levels as "high," and half say they have less time to spend with family and friends.
If you find yourself (or know someone who is), consider printing the list below as a daily reminder of how to give yourself a break every now and then and learn to accept help graciously.
Respite is your right. Reward yourself with respite breaks often. Guilt over leaving your loved one in the hands of another person, even for a short while, can be a real deterrent to getting away and relaxing on your own time. Don't let this emotion overwhelm your good intentions. You need time to yourself and away from the constant demands of caregiving.
Watch out for signs of depression, and don’t delay in getting professional help when needed.
Accept offered help and suggest specific things that they can do to assist. Feel free to leave them a list of your loved one's needs or favorite things they like to do or eat.
Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition and how to communicate effectively with doctors.
Be open to technologies and caregiving techniques that promote your loved one’s independence.
Trust your instincts. Most of the time they’ll lead you in the right direction.
Be good to your back when transferring your loved one and learn how to properly lift, push and pull.
Mourn your losses, and then allow yourself to dream new dreams.
Seek support from other caregivers. It is a relief to know you are not alone.
Stand up for your rights as a caregiver, even if it is just to yourself. Don't let your inner narrative discourage you from taking breaks or getting away for awhile.
If you are at a point where you need a helping hand with daily caregiving, AAging Better In-Home Care offers respite and daily care to provide you with time off and peace of mind knowing that your loved one is being well cared for.
AAging Better, with offices in the greater Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint areas, provides the utmost in independent living support with quality, affordable home care and a wide range of services, such as assistance with bathing and dressing, housekeeping and laundry, respite care, and live-in care.
Contact us at 208-777-0308 (greater Coeur d'Alene area) or 208-263-7889 (greater Sandpoint area) for a free in-home assessment of your loved one's needs. A plan of care can then be created that fits your or your loved one’s needs. Give us a call today!