Helpful Tips For A Family Caregiver
There isn’t much that’s more upsetting for us as we get older than watching our loved ones get older too. Of course, we all appreciate seeing our gorgeous husbands turn into silver foxes with that little bit of gray just over his ears and the reading glasses that make him look like an intellectual (even though he only ever uses them to watch golf on TV). But watching your parents and grandparents age is painful like almost nothing else. Pinpointing the time that you start to look after them instead of them looking after you is something that will make anyone’s heart ache, no matter how much of an adult you are. Luckily there are things you can do to make sure that they’re happy, safe and well looked after. Read on to find out great ways to be a family caregiver and avoid caregiver burnout.
They might be resistant at first but it’s important to consider the fact that your elderly loved ones might not be as able to live independently as they once could, so you should start to look into assisted living centers. These places are great for elderly people – they won’t get lonely, there’s plenty of entertainment, and they also have the possibility of making friends. Plus you’ll be able to worry less and avoid caregiver burnout as you know they’ll be safe and looked after.
Be As Gentle As Possible
When you see one of your family members getting increasingly more and more frail and confused it’s deeply upsetting, but it’s also important to remember that it’s probably as upsetting for them at times as it is for you. Can you imagine being constantly confused about what’s going on around you and at times being perfectly aware that your mind is starting to fail you? It might be annoying and upsetting sometimes to be the family caregiver of your loved ones who are getting more and more confused but it’s important to take a deep breath and continue to be as gentle and patient as you possibly can.
Accept that this is your new normal – chances are, they aren’t going to get any better, so you’ll have to form a new relationship with them. It might not be the same kind of relationship as you used to have but it can still be precious and valuable and they will still have a great personality and a lot of love for you. Try talking about their memories of the past – they’ll probably have a much easier time recollecting them than remembering what they had for dinner the previous day! You should also remember that if your relative seems abruptly more confused than usual, take them to the doctor – this can be a sign of a UTI or dehydration.
Give Yourself A Break
When your loved ones are getting older and frail it can be very sad – and a lot of people end up focusing their lives around their elderly relatives. Although this is sometimes unavoidable, you need to try to live your own life as much as you can. If you’re a family caregiver, talk to a charity about getting respite care so you can take time off and go on vacation. Your own time is important and precious and you need to make sure that you give yourself breaks in order to stay healthy and avoid caregiver burnout.