It’s no secret that, despite its rewards, caregiving can be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. There are so many things caregivers need to accomplish in a day, both caregiving tasks and their regular responsibilities, like work and parenting.
In addition, the emotions involved in caring for someone you care about who is ailing and perhaps nearing the end of their life can make the role even more difficult. All of these things combined can make being a caregiver overwhelming. So, what’s a caregiver to do when caregiving gets too overwhelming? Below are some tips that may make a difference.
Talk to your Doctor
First, talk to your doctor about how you are feeling. Caregivers are at a greater risk for depression, so it’s a good idea to be monitored. In addition, you may have physical symptoms the doctor can treat, allowing you to feel better and more in control of your own health.
Stick to a Routine
Maintaining a regular and predictable routine can make your days easier. A routine not only helps you to stay on track, but it can also be calming for the older adult for whom you are a caregiver. Because of the calming effect of a routine, you may find that the senior is less anxious and requires less hands-on care, which might free up a little of your time. A routine doesn’t have to mean that each day is the same. Instead, it means that the general parts of the day, like getting up, eating meals, and going to bed, occur at the same time each day. There can still be room in the day for fun outings or new activities.
Remind Yourself of the Positives
At times when being a caregiver is particularly hard, it can be helpful to think about all the good things that come from caregiving. As a caregiver, you get to spend extra time with your loved one that you might not have otherwise. In addition, you know that the older adult is receiving the best care possible.
Get Some Help
Many caregivers are reluctant to accept help because they don’t want to burden others or because they think they should be able to do it all on their own. There is nothing wrong with accepting help. In fact, being able to help someone else makes people feel good, so why deny friends and family members who are offering? If there’s no one nearby who is able to help, by contacting a home care agency you can hire a professional caregiver to assist with regular tasks and give you the extra time that you need.