Approximately fifteen percent of primary care givers report that they feel an increased level of stress, depression, and anxiety that come as part of caring for their loved ones. When you are asked to be the primary care giver for an elderly loved one, your life will change dramatically. Not only will this be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever be a part of, it will be extremely challenging. Most elderly people will become completely dependent upon you to help them with everything from getting dressed to getting out of bed. You will most likely be responsible for cleaning their home and paying their bills as well. Taking care of yourself is important if you want to continue being a care giver to your loved ones. This article will explore some different things you can do to not only take care of your loved ones but to take care of yourself as well.
Tip # 1 – Inspire independence
If your loved one is determined to continue living at home for as long as possible, you need to try and accommodate them. Some children make the decision to move back in with their parents, or they invite their parents to live with them. Discuss this with your loved ones and make sure you come to a decision you are both comfortable with. If they want to live at home, you need to make a few modifications around their house that can help them get around a little easier.
Standing up from a seated or lying down position can be quite challenging. Most care givers end up lifting their loved ones out of bed, off the toilet, and out of chairs. Inspire them to be a little more independent with this by purchasing mobility aids and other tools such as a curved support bar, assist-a-tray stander, and even a dresser and stocking kit so they can get dressed without your assistance.
Tip # 2 – Make time for your lifestyle
Most care givers will tell you that one of the biggest challenges they have is learning how to let go of their lifestyle. While you may not be able to attend as many social events as you did in the past, no one expects you to sacrifice who you are to take care of your loved ones. Create a schedule that works for you and your loved ones so you can still go out on dates with your spouse, and so you can still spend time with your friends and doing the things that you enjoy. If you worry about your loved ones being alone, purchase an emergency alarm and phone. This device has a small button they can wear around their neck and push it if they fall or run into trouble. The device will contact you if you are listed as their first emergency number, and you can go right over to their home as soon as possible. This will give you both the opportunity to have a little independence, and you will have the comfort of knowing that your loved ones will be safe. It is a must for a care giver to be social. When you are isolated, it actually increases your stress and anxiety levels.
Tip # 3 – Take care of your body
Being a care giver is not an easy job and you need to take care of your own body to make sure you are in good shape. Don’t allow yourself to become so overwhelmed and busy that you forget to eat nutritious meals or go outside for a nice walk. Always get plenty of rest as it helps to recharge the body, providing you with plenty of energy for the day to come.caregiver agencies