(NC) If you’re a family caregiver to your aging parents or another elderly loved one, it’s essential to
be aware of the signs of stress and take steps to prevent burnout. Common signs include trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, losing interest in your favourite activities, and getting sick more often.
Remember that you can’t support others effectively if you’re physically and emotionally exhausted — so use these tips to take care of yourself and your family.
- Educate yourself. Read books, attend workshops and consult with healthcare professionals. Even if the person you’re caring for doesn’t have a specific condition, it’s still useful to gather general information about aging and elder care.
Maintain your own physical and mental health. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating healthy, well-balanced meals. Exercise, rest, meditation and other activities can reduce stress. Support systems are critical, so join a caregiver support group or discuss your situation with family and friends. Seek medical help if you notice signs of depression or anxiety.
Take care of financial, legal and long-term care planning matters. If they are still capable of providing input, try to involve your loved one in decision-making and consider their wishes related to future care and end-of-life issues.
Make time for yourself. Pursue interests beyond your caregiving role and other obligations you may have, like work and the kids. No matter how much you may enjoy all of these aspects of your life, it’s important to do something just for you — like exercise, hobbies or art projects.
Seek additional support. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, a change or help might be what you require. You may need to call on other family members, explore community resources or hire professional assistance. Bayshore HealthCare provides personalized home care services across Canada. This additional support can allow you to spend quality time with your elderly loved one, while enhancing quality of life and independence for you both.
Find more information at www.bayshore.ca.