If you’re providing care for a senior family member, you give of yourself willingly every day. It’s likely that you wouldn’t have it any other way but in order to provide the very best care to your loved one, it’s important to take care of yourself as well.
Here are our five top tips to ensure you stay healthy and receive the support you need as you see to the needs of your loved one:
1. Build a Support System
It’s simply impossible for one person to do everything all of the time for someone else. It can sometimes be a little draining and it’s okay to feel like you could use some assistance, too. It’s important to have moral support from people who can listen to your thoughts and offer advice as needed. If you feel like you could use some emotional or moral support, consider talking to other family members and friends or turn to your place of worship or a counselor. In addition to emotional support, don’t be afraid to ask for physical help when you need it. Make up a to-do list and ask for friends or family for their assistance from time to time.
2. Prioritize Tasks
If you’re the primary caregiver for your loved one, you’re in the best position to know all the tasks that need to be accomplished. Try to be as organized as possible, using a calendar or to-do list to prioritize medical appointments and other commitments. Learn to say “no,” and resist the urge to commit to more responsibilities than are necessary. Get the important things done, and let the others go.
3. Take Care of Your Own Health
Make time for sufficient sleep, healthy eating and exercise. To manage stress, consider taking up meditation or yoga, and schedule regular medical checkups. Making space in your day for relaxation also is critical. Don’t neglect your spiritual and emotional health. Be sure to connect with the important people in your life, and find a way to cope with your feelings instead of holding them in.
4. Try to Find Solutions
If your loved one has received a puzzling or concerning diagnosis, be proactive in learning about the condition. The unknown can be frightening and more knowledge is never a bad thing. Take a little time to research and keep a notebook of your findings that you also can use to organize medical paperwork and correspondence.
5. Take a Break Now and Then
You’re fully committed to the wellbeing of your loved one, but every once in a while, you need a break. Consider contracting with a home health agency or using a reputable respite care provider for a few days or even longer. Visit a beautiful location in a relaxing environment where you can gaze at the ocean or the mountains, decompress and come back feeling rejuvenated.
If you feel that a senior living community can best meet the care needs of your loved one, consider the relaxed environment of Gull Creek. We offer a variety of lifestyle options that include services and amenities to keep your family member comfortable, healthy and happy. To schedule your personal tour, please contact us today.