There is nothing easy about being a caregiver for an older person. It is stressful; it is time-consuming, and, without a doubt, it can be quite upsetting. Needless to say, it’s a job that has to be done, whether it’s by you or by a professional. Here are some ways you can help your elderly family members without feeling too much stress from caregiving, especially if you have a busy life of your own to live.
Look into stress-saving services
Looking into valuable stress-saving services might be a crucial way to help your peace of mind. Many useful services can help you with this type of situation, such as long-term care insurance. This can help you when it comes to ensuring that your loved ones get looked after in their old age, especially if you are not around.
Putting the personal care of your loved ones into a stranger’s hands might feel strange and somewhat stressful on its own, especially if you have been a long-term carer for this older person for a long time. However, getting the right people to help your elderly dependant get the best care possible at all times of day might be a step you need to take. If you are in this position click here to learn about what long-term care insurance can do for you and your elderly loved ones.
Show them your support
It would help if you showed your elderly family members that you support them emotionally as well as financially and physically. You need to make sure that you are accessible for them at most times of the day to call up and talk to or have organized times when you will go and see them.
Loneliness is a severe problem in the elderly and the aging population and can be very depressing for those that have to go through it. Your loved one should not be one of the many who experience loneliness, so you should make sure that you support them. You should make sure that they socialize with as many people as possible every day, whether through clubs or other social events in their local area, such as church communities or sports.
Celebrate with them
Including them in family activities such as birthday parties, weddings, and even funerals can be an excellent way to help them feel like they haven’t been forgotten. This is especially true if they don’t see your entire family all together in the same place very often. Transport might feel like a bit of a hassle, but it might be best to make sure that their needs are adequately met by specialist services if necessary for their emotional well-being.
By including them and celebrating with them, whether it be through those family milestones above or through their own milestones, for example, lowering a dose of medication, starting a new hobby, or going out to a new club to meet more people, you might find that they will feel more motivated to do things if they have people to celebrate their little achievements with them, helping them and showing not only that you support them but that you love them too.
Leave time for yourself and remember to take breaks
Many people seem to forget that leaving time for yourself and taking breaks is crucial in caring. Many carers seem to go on and not take any rest time for themselves, which can end up being detrimental to their caregiving skills, which might cause them to make silly mistakes that will cause the older person to become uncomfortable and ill.
The best thing you can do is make sure that you take time for yourself so you don’t make these silly mistakes. This can also be time away from your family, making sure that you have at least an hour to yourself every day to think. Thinking can be done by using your journal or meditating and trying to get a sense of place within everything that’s going on. This can help maintain your mental and physical health, which might go downhill if you keep pushing yourself to the limit in a very stressful environment.
Be realistic about the future and make preparations if need be
This might be a very depressing task, but you might find that it helps clear some of the emotional fog, especially if your older person is going into full-time care. Being realistic and getting things such as a will and testament organized now will help you make difficult decisions in the future. This way, you will also know your older person’s wishes, just in case things move faster than expected. Despite how difficult it might be now, this can help you so much in the future, so it is well worth doing even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.
Think about their personal needs
Thinking about their personal needs isn’t just about their medication, but more about their personal milestones and personal achievements and interests. Taking note of this can be very beneficial to their mental welfare. They need to know that you care very deeply about them, so you need to make sure that you are conscious of their needs and their desires, such as their personal need for enrichment.
This might be a complex topic to bring up with them; however, you need to meet these needs. For example, somebody more social might like to go to a museum, but somebody a little bit more introverted might just want somebody to read with them every now and again. These little personal needs need to be met to help you look after them better.
Discuss living situations
Something else you need to do is discuss living situations with them. This is another very difficult conversation to have; however, it is again one well worth having. You might find that they do not feel comfortable in their current home, especially if it has stairs, uneven flooring, or cupboards that might be too high for them to reach.
This might cause an injury, so for their own welfare, it might be beneficial to them to move somewhere such as a bungalow, a flat, or even assisted living. All of these things might not sound appealing to your older person as it might be an admission that they are growing older, but sometimes, it is the best thing for their health, and that is what you have to prioritize.
A few final thoughts
You need to have many difficult conversations with your elderly friend or relative to make sure that you give them the best possible care. Some of this might be to do with the end of life decisions; others are simply about where they live and where they feel the most comfortable.
Another big part of you caring and showing them that you genuinely care is by giving a little time to yourself to help them get the best care, especially if you are one of their primary caregivers. You might also want to make sure that you are covered adequately if something were to go wrong in long-term care, so you might want to look into long-term care insurance to help reduce the stress of caring for an older person within your family.