November is National Caregivers Month, the perfect month to celebrate the blessing of being a caregiver to a senior parent as well as remember the importance of taking care of you, the caregiver, as well as your parent.
Caregiving of a senior parent can be rewarding and full of endless blessings, but it is also one of the hardest jobs out there. Most caregivers are not only taking care of their aging parent, but are also trying to manage the rest of life as well – raising kids, maintaining a home, building their career, and fulfilling their own life-time goals and dreams. Sometimes it can seem as though caring for your aging parent puts those other items on hold or at least makes progress slower and more exhausting. Because of that, it’s important that as a caregiver, you also take care of your own needs.
This month as you celebrate National Family Caregivers Month, make a concerted effort to take these steps for yourself, while balancing all of the caretaking items you have on your plate.
- Take a nap
It’s important to take care of your own health as you take care of those you love. If you’ve ever flown on a plane, you’ve probably listened to the safety instructions telling you that parents should put on their own oxygen mask before putting on their child’s mask. This illustrates how important it is that you don’t neglect your own physical, mental and emotional needs while helping take care of your parent. So, if you need a nap one day instead of vacuuming, take a nap without any guilt. That carpet isn’t going anywhere.
- Attend a Caregivers’ Workshop or read a book that supports caregivers
It’s important to find community support and keep up to date on resources that are available to you as a caregiver. There’s no need for you to fly solo on this responsibility and there’s no shame in asking for help (see next bulleted point).
- Enlist help
Look around you and see who can help your aging parent stay in his home with a little bit of assistance. Sometimes family members like each taking a specific duty. Maybe one person agrees to take care of yard work and another family member commits to driving your parent to his appointments. Help can also be a kind neighbor promising to check in with your parent every day. Another excellent place to get additional help is a home care provider. By teaming up with a home care provider, you can make sure your parent is getting the assistance he needs to stay at home. They can be especially helpful if you don’t have other family members that can assist you in the day-to-day responsibilities of being a caregiver.
- Make time to do the things you love
Caretaking for a parent and watching him age or sometimes change drastically due to illness can be devastating. It’s not uncommon for caretakers to become depressed, anxious and overwhelmed. Make sure to monitor your own mental health and continue to find joy in the things you love. If going for a daily walk is a mood uplifter for you, make a point to add it into your schedule with the same degree of importance as every other task on your calendar.
- Take another nap
Simply because you can never have too many naps.
This month celebrates you and all you do to help your parent on this final part of his journey enjoy life satisfaction with dignity and respect. There is no greater honor.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering a Caregiver in Spokane, WA please contact the caring staff at Angel Senior Care today at (509) 326-4357.