(StatePoint) Family caregivers lead busy and at times, stressful lives, often balancing work, their own kids and spouses, hobbies and more, all while ensuring their loved ones are happy and healthy.
In celebration of family caregivers and all that they do, Interim HealthCare Inc. shares tips to help them avoid burnout and provide better care:
• Know you’re not alone: As of 2015, an estimated 43.5 million adults in the U.S. have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older, according to AARP. Of these individuals, around 28 percent have a child or grandchild under the age of 18 living in their household, and six in 10 caregivers report being employed at some point in the past year while caregiving. Online and in-person support groups can be a great way to connect with others who may be in similar situations. These groups can be found through hospitals, Facebook, Meetup.com or organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association or the American Heart Association.
• Make life easier: You can simplify daily tasks for your senior with a few considerations. For example, if utensils are difficult to use, look for opportunities to provide healthy finger foods that help your senior feel more independent. Think sliced frittata, which can be eaten like pizza, versus scrambled eggs. When it comes to getting dressed, opt for Velcro if zippers and buttons have become difficult. Another good trick? Tie loops of string around the ends of zippers so they’re easier to grab.
• Don’t be surprised by negative feelings: Caring for someone can be an emotional rollercoaster. Even the calmest person can experience a range of negative emotions. The best way to handle them is to acknowledge that they are a natural reaction to stress. If these feelings persist, reach out to local caregiving support groups, a family physician or therapist for help.
• Consider home care as a partner: Professional home care services can complement the care you provide, helping ease its emotional and physical toll while offering you peace of mind.
While selecting senior home care services is something to be proud of, family members often feel guilt over the decision. Conflicted emotions are normal. However, knowing that the decision will make you better equipped to care for everyone can help you move past feelings of guilt.
Home healthcare has emerged as a powerful option for families seeking a better way to care for their senior loved ones. Not only does it provide medical and personal care for seniors, it can nurture their independence by allowing them to remain at home, all while providing respite care for family members from the daily routine of caregiving.
Be sure to look for care that offers a whole-person approach, such as Interim HealthCare’s HomeLife Enrichment standard of care, where caregivers look beyond a diagnosis so that every patient is treated as an individual with unique needs and desires. To learn more, visit interimhealthcare.com.
More caregiving tips can be found at interimhealthcare.com/blog.
Serving as a family caregiver is challenging. But there are ways to make life easier and more fulfilling for both you and your loved one.
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