Being a caregiver to an aging parent or loved one can be incredibly rewarding. Providing care can also be very stressful, and it’s not uncommon for caregivers to feel burnt out and overwhelmed. Fortunately, there are ways to cope. Taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically will ensure you can give your loved one the best care and support possible.
Don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help
Make a list of things other people can do to ease the burden of caregiving, then seek out help. For example, a friend could commit to providing weekly help with grocery shopping and other errands. A family member could come over for regular walks around the neighborhood, which would give you time to decompress.
Learn about caregiver resources in your community
Does your community provide any resources for caregivers? Many cities recognize that providing care is stressful and offer support designed to make things easier. Senior caregivers who live in Denver can review this list of resources for caregivers in Colorado to find more information on support groups, services, associations, respite care, and specific conditions.
Join a caregiver support group
People in support groups understand what you’re going through. They can offer encouragement, empathy, and even tips for solving problems. If you are unable to find an in-person group where you live, online support groups can be equally helpful.
Don’t neglect your social life
Maintaining your existing social network is important, too. Reach out to friends and family who you love and trust, even if you only have time for a quick phone call.
Develop healthy habits for yourself
When caring for others, we often forget to care for ourselves. Eating well, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, and regular physical activity will keep you healthy so that you can continue to be there for your loved one.
Be gentle with yourself
Caregivers may feel angry, resentful, hurt, or frustrated at times, but they shouldn’t feel guilty about those emotions. You can’t expect yourself to stay calm and understanding 100% of the time, because no one is a perfect caregiver. When you experience negative emotions, be quick to forgive yourself. Think back to the countless times when you cared for your loved one with patience and empathy and remember that this moment will pass.
What to do when you can no longer provide care at home
Sometimes, a senior’s needs exceed the caregiver’s abilities. In these cases, transitioning into senior living can be an ideal solution for everyone.
Having the conversation about transitioning into senior living isn’t always easy. Fortunately, The Argyle has helped thousands of seniors and their families make empowering transitions to senior living.
As a local nonprofit, The Argyle has brought high quality and affordable care to Denver’s seniors since 1874. To this day, our caring team remains committed to encouraging independence and preserving the dignity of every resident who calls our community home.