Today’s America is made up of a population in which 29% of the population are family caregivers – totaling over 65.7 million people according to the National Alliance for Caregiving. This astonishing figure means that nearly 1/3 of our Nation’s population is providing care for an individual over the age of 18, many of whom are seniors in need of assistance with anything from transportation to daily hygiene.
While many family caregivers will tell you that they’re happy to provide help for a loved one, there are undeniable underlying stressors that come along with the worry, schedule juggling and time commitment required to care for a senior family member. Because of the high volume of caregivers in our populous, and the intensity of their responsibilities, it is vital that family caregivers find ways to reduce stress and maintain their own wellbeing in the midst of managing another’s.
Find “Me” Time:
Family caregivers can attest that finding time for yourself is often easier said than done! However, creating time for activities you enjoy and proper rest can help rejuvenate and re-energize your body and mind. Consider hiring a home care company that utilizes a home care software or home care system to keep you up to date on activities while you’re away via secure log-ins to the home care software, or ask another family member or close friend to help with a care shift every so often.
Build a Reliable Support Network:
Elder care requires a village, and putting a strong support network will help give you the backup you need when you need it. Interview home care agencies to choose one to use for care on a regular or intermittent basis. With a home care software or home care system like ClearCare Online in place, agencies can easily schedule caregivers for any frequency. Schedules within the home care system are also available for you to review and keep track of in a secure Family Room portal of the home care software. Talk to other loved ones about their role in helping, work with medical providers to build communication about your loved one’s health and consider reaching out to other caregivers for a listening ear when you need advice or a shoulder to lean on.
Care for Yourself:
If you’re not doing well, you won’t be capable of providing good care to those you love. Be sure to make an effort to eat well, rest enough, exercise and pay attention to your own health. See a doctor for your check-ups and don’t ignore symptoms of stress and burn out. With the help of an elder care agency utilizing ClearCare Online’s home care system and home care software, you can schedule a professional caregiver to lend a hand while you take the time to also take care of yourself.
There are ups and downs in every family caregiver’s journey. While some are uncontrollable, taking steps to help control your stress and improve caregiver wellbeing can help you feel better prepared to deal with the rough days.