Tips to Provide Better Care for Your Elderly Parents
January 25 2022
6 Things that Family Caregivers can Do to Avoid Burnout and Provide Better Care for an Aging Loved one
Many seniors are choosing to age in place and live out their final years at home. Many children make a promise to their parents to never put them in a nursing home. Caring for an elderly parent can be both wonderful and difficult.
Family caregivers are often at high risk of burnout and other serious health conditions as they constantly put the needs of their loved one above their own. When you run at 110% every day, it’s just not sustainable over the long run.
But you also want to provide great care for your elderly parents. Here are some tips on how to do just that while also avoiding burnout.
Understand What is Needed
It’s human nature to not be able to see the forest from the trees. Caregiving can be overwhelming and often you are trying to just make it day to day, focusing on each task as it comes rather than the big picture. Instead, take some time to understand how much care and what type of care your elderly parent needs. This can help you get better organized about what needs to be done and keep you on task.
One of the first things you’ll want to do is to make your loved one’s home more accessible and safe. Get rid of rugs that can be tripped over and move daily items into easy reach. Install grab bars in bathrooms and add lights or change out to brighter bulbs where necessary. You might also need help making some other modifications, such as installing a chair lift for stairs, installing ramps for wheelchairs, and other adjustments depending on your loved one’s needs.
Time Management + Organization
Once you understand the bigger picture, take time to get yourself organized. Keep a planner that has a checklist of the day’s to-do list and order things by level of importance or by time of day. This will keep you from missing reminding your mom to take her pills at lunch and avoid serious health complications.
You’ll also want to get all of your parent’s medical and financial information in order. Get a handle on finances and then be sure to keep important medical documents handy, like a power of attorney and list of medications, so you can grab them when an urgent need arises.
Along the same lines of getting organized, you should also do weekly meal planning. Don’t just do it for your elderly parent, but for you as well, especially if you are making different meals for different needs. Making one meal can be exhausting and it can be easy to grab quick and unhealthy options for yourself in a pinch.
To help make meal planning easier, try a meal delivery kit that provides nutritious options right to your door. Also utilize options such as Instacart or pick up and go options that allow your groceries to be delivered or quickly picked up by a family member or even a neighbor.
Don’t be afraid to seek out help. It’s not possible for one person to do this all on their own. Enlist the help of family members, friends and neighbors as a support network. If you can’t be there with your loved one as much as they need or they are in need of medical care at home, seek out a home care agency to help you provide the best care possible. And don’t wait to seek out help. Many wait until they are feeling overwhelmed and by then, you can feel rushed into making a decision on a home care agency and may end up making the wrong choice. Instead, get help early on.
Care For Yourself
Remember, you can’t care for others if you don’t first care for yourself. Take advantage of respite care offered by a home care agency. Make sure that you are going to your own healthcare appointments. Eat nutritiously and exercise, both of which can help you ward off stress and feel good. Then be sure to practice self care to help you decompress and unwind. This can be doing something that you love, reading, meditating, or taking a hot bath. Everyone is different so just do what helps you destress and then stick with it. Schedule out your self-care time so you don’t put it on the back burner.
The All American Difference
If you are in need of home healthcare, All American is dedicated to providing high quality care to our community. Every member of our care team is experienced and approaches care in the same way they would for their own family! We offer a variety of services, from companionship care to complex care. To learn more about our services and how we can help you and your loved one, visit our website.