Caring for an ailing loved one can take a tremendous toll on a person’s physical and emotional well-being. It is vital for caregivers to make sure that they are always giving fair consideration to their own needs. Failing to do so not only puts your own health at risk, but will leave you with insufficient energy for providing adequate assistance to your loved one. The following are five tips for preventing caregiver burnout.
- Maintain Good Nutrition and Overall Health – While you’re busy preparing nutrient-rich meals for your aging family member, you have to make sure to nourish yourself. Eat for optimal levels of energy and avoid over-indulging on sweets, caffeinated beverages and alcohol. Stress can also create cravings for a lot of fatty, sugary and indulgent comfort foods. It is much better to practice moderation instead. Finally, make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep and implement a reasonable exercise plan.
- Get Help When You Need It – It is okay to ask for help. Try to recruit other family members when possible in order to give yourself regular breaks. If family members are unwilling or unavailable, consider using professional services for in-home care in the Lehigh Valley to assist with daily or weekly duties.
- Take Advantage of Community Resources – Many faith-based organizations are willing to assist with certain aspects of senior care. There are also recreational facilities for ensuring that your senior family member is active and engaged. Many of these organizations will also provide social visits that will give you a better opportunity to become more efficient in your routine caregiver tasks, leaving you with more time on your hands for relaxation.
- Stay Socially Connected – Caring for your aging loved one should never become all that you do. Make sure that you are regularly connecting with friends and engaging in social activities without your senior family member in tow. Stress can be greatly increased by feelings of isolation and thus, getting out and enjoying yourself from time to time is essential for maintaining a positive and healthy mindset.
- Find Ways to Pamper Yourself – Giving an elderly family member a comfortable quality of life is a reward in itself. It is still important, however, to make sure that you are being pampered. Reward yourself regularly with spa visits, nice meals out and other luxuries. Anything that makes you feel valued and special will help to keep caregiver stress at bay.
If you provide care for an aging parent or loved one with an advanced or degenerative condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, it’s also important to start planning for the future. Acting as the caregiver for a senior with such a condition can put even more stress on you, especially as care needs increase as the disease progresses. Learn as much as possible about the condition to ensure safety and quality of life for your aging loved one, and consider your options for local Lehigh Valley Alzheimer’s care for additional assistance and respite.
Interested in learning more about caregiver respite and support? Reach out to Home Care Assistance of the Lehigh Valley today and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager. Call 484-350-3874 – we’re here to help 24/7.