Many people have a similar story: life was going along like normal, until one day their aging parent received a life-changing diagnosis or perhaps, it just came to the point your parent could no longer be self-sufficient on their own. Perhaps, you and your siblings toss around care ideas and options, but inevitably the care ends up falling on one of you. Prior to actually caring for an aging parent, many people think they will be able to do so relatively easily. Eventually, it becomes evident just how difficult managing your own life while caring for another really is.
Many people report the first thing they notice about caring for a parent or family member is how time consuming it is. Caregiving is truly a full time job and when you have to juggle that with other daily tasks such as work, raising your own children or family, responsibilities, hobbies, a social life, and more is nearly impossible. As soon as you begin the caregiving process, make note of how much time you are spending caring for your loved one and which tasks take what amount of time. Use this information to help you establish a clear schedule of caregiving. Remember to set aside time for your personal, professional, and social life. Making time for yourself and things that bring you joy, in addition to caring for a parent is imperative.
Clear Duties and Responsibilities
As soon as you begin to take care of and help your parent or loved one, take an inventory of tasks that need to be done and duties that must be performed. If you have other family members helping out, sit down with them and look at the list of things that need to be done and divide and conquer. Assign different roles and responsibilities to different people if you have other people helping out. If you are doing this on your own, still analyze the list and prioritize items that are more important than others. This will help you stay organized and on top of things, allowing you to have reduced and minimal stress.
When you are busy taking care of others, sometimes your relationships get neglected. Whether you are away from home more often and not giving enough attention to your spouse or you are missing important events in your children’s day-to-day lives because you are taking care of a parent, being a caregiver can seriously affect your relationships. It is important to be aware of this and be proactive. Be deliberate in setting aside specific time to spend with your spouse, children, and friends as well. If there is a certain party or commitment you want to be sure you are present at, make sure to make other arrangements for your parent or loved one so you can be present at your important life happenings too. It may require a little more work and planning, but nurturing your personal relationships is a crucial part of juggling caregiving and your own life.
When becoming a caregiver comes and interrupts life as you know it, it is extremely easy to get stressed out when you find yourself in this role. Your free time, resources, and even relationships often are sacrificed through this process and it is difficult to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed. Find ways to minimize stress by taking time to properly care for yourself, delegating tasks to other family members, and even enlisting the help of professionals – like our expert staff of caregivers at Harmony Home Care.
If you are overwhelmed and your life is being impacted by the demands of caregiving, consider professional help for your parent, spouse, or loved one. Give us a call at 916-933-9777 or visit our website. Our professionals are more than happy to serve those in need of caregiving assistance in Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, and Yolo counties. For daily tips, advice, and news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Google Plus.