Many caregivers feel overworked trying to balance caring for someone with their own responsibilities. To give your loved one the care they deserve, it helps to know what caregivers should do and also what not to do.
Here are some dos and don’ts about being a caregiver.
Do Create Routines
Aging seniors choose to stay in their homes as they age because of comfort and familiarity. It’s vital as a caregiver that you provide them with some sense of routine so they continue to feel comfortable.
Start by creating a schedule with their input. Besides basic things like eating and rest times,schedule time for them to take part in social events, exercise, and spend time outside. Work with the person your caring for to see what a healthy and happy life looks like given their age, then create a routine around those preferences.
Keeping seniors on a reliable routine will give both you and your loved one more energy to focus on what matters by not getting overwhelmed by some of the obstacles old age brings.
Don’t aim for perfection
No one is perfect. While you should strive to provide your loved one with the best care you’re capable of giving, holding yourself to impossible standards will only have negative effects on everyone involved.
Trying to be perfect with caregiving will lead to frustration and feelings of guilt. And if you’re constantly frustrated by not doing more than you’re capable of, you’ll only take it out on yourself and your loved one. In order for your loved one to receive the best care, you need to be realistic about what that is.
Do take care of your own health
If you neglect your own body, you’ll eventually neglect your caregiving duties. Exercise and nutrition play a huge role in the amount of energy you have.
After creating a schedule for your loved one, make one for yourself so you have dedicated time to exercise and plan healthy meals. This will not only have an impact on your physical energy, but it will go a long way in keeping you from getting overwhelmed with your caregiving duties.
Don’t burn out
Unfortunately, burnout with caregivers is far too normal. Common factors that lead to caregiver burnout include:
- A lack of sleep
- A lack of exercise
- Unhealthy vices
- Not taking a break
- Unhealthy diets
If you start becoming irritable towards your loved one or are consistently overwhelmed by what you need to get done, it may be a sign it’s time to take a break.
Do exercise patience
As we get older, even the most routine tasks can begin to take a little bit longer. This can be a blessing in many ways as we tend to cherish things more when we take our time.
But it’s easy as a caregiver to become irritated or impatient when it takes your loved one longer to remember something or long dinners start eating away at your evening. That’s okay.
Take this slower pace of life as an opportunity to slow down and be present, as impatience can create even more frustration. If your loved one is unable to do tasks at a certain pace on their own, you can imagine how frustrated they would be if they feel rushed.
Don’t feel guilty
We know – easier said than done! You’re aware of how much work you do, but at times you feel like you could be doing more. Even when we’re doing our best for our loved ones, there may be that tinge of guilt that we could be making their lives even better, perhaps perfect.
It’s vital to tune these feelings of guilt out. They only hurt your ability to be a good caregiver by directing your attention elsewhere and causing you to work yourself into burnout.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
There is nothing wrong with reaching out for help. It’s often necessary when we inevitably become burned out, or other responsibilities come up where we can’t give our loved ones the attention they need.
In-home care allows them to get professional care within their own home.
At Golden Care, we work directly with you to find an option that’s best for your needs. It can be around-the-clock care, or occasional care to give you a break a couple of times a week. Whatever time off you need, we can provide it.
If you have any questions about in-home care or caregiving in general, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We take pride in being San Diego’s choice for in-home care.