Family caregivers are among the most important and underappreciated people in the nation. Countless families across the United States make untold sacrifices as they take on vital responsibilities that make a difference in the lives of their aging parents, grandparents, and other elderly relatives. Family caregivers undoubtedly help older adults survive and thrive, but they can’t do it over the long term without ensuring their own survival. Luckily, the factors that are most essential for caregiving success have been extensively researched. Don’t just wing it. Rely on advice from the experts. Here are four key principles of caregiver survival.
1. Plan for the Future
There are many arrangements aging adults need to make as they get older, such as preparing wills and making plans for the disposition of their estates. Much of the stress of family caregiving can be avoided by helping older loved ones make these arrangements as early as possible. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has an excellent guide family caregivers can use to get a head start on helping their loved ones make a variety of important end-of-life decisions.
2. Do Your Own Thing
Researchers say caregivers who continue to do the things they want to do, such as maintaining independent social lives and engaging in hobbies, are happiest. Primary caregivers should reserve time for themselves so they can recharge their batteries. Getting into this habit is a pillar of sustainable caregiving.
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted homecare services provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
3. Itemize & Delegate
You don’t have to do everything yourself. Whenever it’s possible, involve other family members or friends in caregiving tasks. Before requesting others’ help, simplify the process by determining your loved one’s specific caregiving needs. Some older adults need help with bathing and food preparation, while others need social interaction more than anything else. Itemize your loved one’s unique needs and delegate responsibilities accordingly.
One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior care. Montgomery families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
4. Seek Outside Help
If other family members and friends aren’t able to help out, consider hiring a professional home caregiver to free up personal time for yourself. A high-quality home care agency supports both family caregivers’ wellbeing and seniors’ independence at the same time. A professional caregiver can ensure your loved one continues to receive high-quality care while you’re away by helping with meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, transportation, and so much more.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Montgomery families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (334) 593-3988 today.