- Family caregivers are very important to the lives of many of our senior loved ones or likely will be at some time.
Family caregivers provide a service that’s hard to match when they aren’t there to do it all!
Unfortunately, there may come a time when they just don’t feel that they can continue giving it their all. What will we do then?
We all need to lift some of the ‘caregiving obligation’ (certainly not burden as they don’t feel it is a burden but more a responsibility born of love) from their shoulders.
We need to help them seize the day and do something for themselves once in a while.
1. Get respite! Don’t be one of the few who actually accept respite. It is available but for you to get it, you may need to seek it out. Perhaps it is a family friend who can sit with your senior loved one in the afternoon or overnight so that you can have a break. Maybe it is an organization who can provide a sitter or substitute caregiver for a period of time so that you can get relief.
- Take a vacation – a day, weekend or week or maybe longer! Pay for in-home care, arrange with a respite organization that provides this service, or send your senior loved one away to family or a care home for the time you will be away. You won’t do it often but deserve it, so don’t feel guilty about it. Your senior loved one’s safety is your top concern but your well-being should be important to you as well! Some families ‘share’ the senior loved one every three months or so relieving the other family member for a while so that each able person in the family becomes the primary caregiver at some point during the year. What a great way for families to pitch in not to mention enjoy their senior loved one!
- Take a walk, take a bubble bath, listen to your favorite music (not just theirs) or reach out to friends on the phone.
- Don’t be afraid to treat yourself with an hour nap or participating in a personal hobby during the day.
- If you feel like the multitude of other family caregivers who have difficulty managing the stress associated with caregiving or feel sad or depressed, seek professional help to care for yourself and learn coping strategies.
- Cook a meal that you want to eat, not just what you think everyone else wants.
- Get a good night’s sleep by having someone else listen for your senior loved one or attend to their overnight needs once a week.
- Stop and smell the roses, listen to the birds sing outside, or smell the fresh air! It only takes a moment to remember what you are there for and why you are a family caregiver! Contact Raleigh Geriatric Care Management, 919-803-8025 for a FREE 15 minutes telephonic consultation. www.rgcmgmt.com