We plan for our careers. We plan to purchase a home. We plan for a family. However, life often has other plans and throws unanticipated curveballs. Taking care of an aging parent is often not a role most people plan for, and many are unaware of the financial burden, the amount of time required to provide that care, and the emotional toll it can take. Luckily, there are ways to make self-care for family caregivers a priority.
To maintain a healthy life balance and avoid caregiver burnout, keep these tips in mind:
- Ensure you designate time for a phone call or visit with a family member or friend on a regular basis. Too often, family caregivers throw themselves into taking care of their loved one so intensely that they lose sight of other healthy relationships, which can lead to feelings of isolation and depression. Surround yourself with supportive people who care about you.
- Set firm boundaries, and don’t hesitate to let your loved one know what you can and can’t give in terms of time and support.
- Set aside time each day to relax with soothing music, prayer, meditation or other stress-relieving activities.
- Focus on devoting time to at least one activity every day that brings you joy. It can be engaging in a favorite pastime, going for a walk, reading a book in a favorite spot or sipping on a latte at your favorite coffee shop.
- Exercise on a regular basis, even if it means finding someone else to provide care for your loved one while walking or attending an exercise class.
- Eat nutritious meals and get plenty of sleep.
- Rely on a trusted, local home care provider, like Advanced Home for respite care and resources.
Caring for an older parent can feel overwhelming at times, but remember that you are not alone, and you do not have to do everything yourself! Self-care for family caregivers is incredibly important, so make it a priority. Contact our expert providers of Burlington home care services and care in nearby areas at 800.791.7785, or 319.753.6270 if you’re in Burlington and 319.524.2144 if you’re in Keokuk. We’re happy to help you learn more about how our home care services can help you achieve a healthier life balance.