Attention All Caregivers!

July 26, 2022

Caregivers, listen up!

Taking care of an elderly loved one is a lot of work. It can be physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. As you navigate your way through caring for a loved one, sometimes you may forget to

 take care of yourself.  This week, we want to talk about just that. Before we begin, here are some signs that may indicate you are struggling:

  • Fatigue

  • Gaining or losing weight

  • Feeling overwhelmed or worried constantly

  • Losing interest in spending time with family and friends

  • Feeling sad or depressed

  • Chronic pain, headaches, or other physical ailments

  • Agitation

Being under this kind of stress isn’t good for your health. It can affect your sleep, eating habits, and your mood. There is so much to think about that it can seem incredibly overwhelming. And if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t possibly care for your loved one in the way you want.

With that, here are a few ways to look at your situation and adapt to make your life and the life of your loved one a little less stressful.

Set Attainable Goals

Make a list of the things that need to be taken care of in the short term.  You can then make longer term goals, but don’t jump ahead too far!

Example —

Your mother has doctor’s appointment today.  You also need to pick up prescriptions, grab a few groceries, make a hair appointment for her and make sure you remind your brother to visit.

First things first…take her to the doctor.  This is the thing that must be done today.  Don’t worry about the other things that could be done tomorrow or next week.  Make lists or keep a calendar of to-dos.  This will help with organization and efficiency.

Ask For Help

As with the example above, maybe you could ask your brother to pick up your mother’s prescriptions before he comes to visit.  You may decide to use a delivery service to drop off the groceries you need. Check these off the list. Great job!  Try to say NO to extra things that cause you stress. You are allowed!

Find Resources

There are so many options for finding support. Support groups can offer encouragement as well as ideas for solving difficult issues that arise in your life.  As a Vancouver senior living home, we work with families and caregivers every day and know how stressful this can be. We are here to help.

Set Goals For Your Own Wellness

Remember that your mind and body are the only things keeping you going.  Think about what you are eating and drinking.  Move, move, move.  May it be fast or slow your body needs activity to stay healthy and strong.  Try to walk at least three times a week.  Drink plenty of water and eat nutritious foods.  Meditate, do yoga, or listen to music all on your own.

Consult With a Specialist

Make sure you tell your doctor that you are a caregiver.  Get regular screenings, stay up to date on your immunizations and discuss any concerns you have with them

These tips are useful whether your loved one is living with you, alone or at a home like Vancouver Senior Care.  Lastly, remember to give yourself a break.  None of us can do everything on our own.

Be kind to yourself.