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How to Take Care of Yourself When Caring for an Elderly Loved One

Dec 1, 2016 by Michael Craig

Elderly Care & Your Own Well-Being

Caring for an elderly loved one can be extremely rewarding. You’re helping improve the life of someone you care for, and knowing that can be a great feeling. But in the midst of all the rewarding moments, you can find yourself physically and emotionally drained.

People caring for elderly loved ones often complain of stress, lack of sleep, frustration, lack of fulfillment, or feelings of anger toward their loved one. If you are feeling similarly, you could be hurting yourself in addition to not being able to provide the quality care that your loved one deserves.

Whether you’re already feeling worn out or you want to prevent it from happening in the future, we’re here to help. Here are our top tips for caring for yourself while you’re caring for a loved one.

1. Give yourself some credit.

One of the worst things you can do as a caregiver is to discredit yourself. We know you want to be able to do everything for your loved one, but sometimes, you just need to realize that what you’re doing is enough. Stop feeling guilty about what you’re not able to do, and, instead, start recognizing all that you are able to do every day.

2. Make sure sleep is high on your priority list.

Getting a good night’s sleep is so important for your mental and physical well-being. When you’re getting enough sleep, you’ll be more alert during the day, more relaxed, and much more prepared to deal with whatever is thrown your way.

3. Stay connected with your friends and family.

When you’re caring for a loved one, it can be so easy to get wrapped up in their life and forget about your own. It may take a little bit of effort, but it’s so important to remain in touch with your own friends and family. Whether it’s through social media, phone calls, or in-person events, make some time to maintain the other important relationships in your life. Your mental and emotional well-being will thank you for it!

4. Join a support group with other caregivers.

When you’re stressed and frustrated, sometimes, all you need is to know that someone else is going through the same type of situation. Search online for a support group with other caregivers in your area to connect with others in your shoes. This can be especially useful if you’re caring for a loved one with a debilitating illness like Alzheimer’s or dementia, as these can be especially taxing on you both.

5. Know when it’s time to ask for help.

As with any job, there comes a point when you may experience burnout. This is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of. When this happens, it’s absolutely okay to ask for help. Whether it’s from a family member or a professional caregiver, someone can help you take a break when you need to focus on your own well-being. For more information, learn more about our caregiving services below.

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