Making Time for Yourself During Your Caregiver Experience
July 10, 2018When you agreed to become a family caregiver for your aging parent, you were agreeing to offer your time, energy, and effort to your parent to fulfill their regular needs. While it is very important that you make sure your senior has access to all of the care they need during their later years, this does not mean you should neglect yourself, and your own needs. Taking proper care of yourself is a critical step in being able to take care of anybody in your life, including your aging parent, and your children. Making time for yourself during your caregiver experience can seem daunting, but it is a vital part of being the best quality caregiver you can be. Caregiver in Los Gatos CA: Making Time for YourselfSome ways you can make time for yourself during your caregiver experience include:
- Schedule specific time for yourself just as you would schedule anything else in your care routine. Make sure you add things like doctor's appointments, meetings, school activities, and others into your calendar, and hold to those commitments. Put the same importance on scheduling your time for yourself. Even if it is only an hour or two each week to watch favorite TV shows, this time should be something you can look forward to and utilize only for yourself.
- Streamline your care efforts as much as possible. find ways you can simplify the care you give to your aging parent, and the tasks you complete for your own household. Often you can find yourself saving time by combining activities, such as grocery shopping for both households at the same time, or bringing laundry over from your home to your parent's home so you can wash everything together while spending more time with your parent. You can then use the time you save for yourself.
- Accept offers of help from family and friends. Often caregivers feel like people are giving these offers of help in order to be polite, or to seem supportive, but they don't actually mean them. The reality is, most people who offer help genuinely do want to be a helpful and beneficial part of your experience. The next time somebody offers to help with your care, accept that help, and let them know what they can do for you and your parent.
- Let your partner know you need more help in other areas of your life. Ask them to step up and handle more tasks in the home such as preparing lunches for your children for school, cleaning, doing a carpool, or preparing meals for the family. Knowing that your partner is handling these tasks can mean handling other tasks at the same time so you have more time to yourself, and for your family, later.
- Start home care for your parent. Having an in-home senior care services provider in the home with your aging parent means they can handle a wide variety of care tasks, freeing up your time, and giving you more flexibility in your daily schedule. This reduces risk of stress, and can boost quality of life for both your senior parent and you