Are you resposible for the care of someone you love?
In can be really easy to let your enjoyment of life get away from you, especially if you are caring for a family member who is not well or experiencing decline due to aging. There always seems to be so much to do and you cannot seem to accomplish everything.
Full Time Or Part-Time Caregivers Experience Stress
You may be a full time caregiver dealing with doctors appointments, managing dementia behaviors, cooking, cleaning, managing medications, bathing, dressing…well you get the idea. There is a lot to do.
Or maybe you have an aging parent that still lives in their own home but who relies on you for a lot. You may be running back and forth to help with medications, doctors appointments and driving a parent who can no longer drive a car safely. Chances are you are trying to balance helping your parent with raising your children, spending time with your spouse and maybe even an outside job to boot!
Wow! No wonder you are overwhelmed!
Here are 3 ways that you can create more balance in your life.
1.Organize a team to help
It isn’t as hard as it seems. People often want to help but simply don’t know how. How often has someone said, “What can I do to help?” And you probably replied as most caregivers do, “Oh nothing, we’re fine, or just say a prayer” What if you could ask that person if they would be willing to be a part of your care team?
Do you have teenagers or per-teens at home? Put them to work helping. You will be teaching them a valuable lesson about giving back.
An Online Resource Planner Can Help
Lotsa helping Hands is an online community calendar service to help you organize a team to help. It costs nothing and is easy to set up. You can post requests for support - things like meals for the family, rides to medical appointments, picking medications at the pharmacy or a jug of milk or just stopping by to visit. Now it makes it easier to get people involved. Reach out to church members, friends, siblings and your own children or grandchildren for help.
Nobody Said You Have To Do It All Yourself-Hire Help
You may also want to hire home care company to provide care that may not be something that family and friends can or want to provide. A home care company can help with bathing, dressing and meal planning and preparation and so much more. They can be the night help if that is what you need. Many families, mine included, will use a combination of paid help from an agency and family.
2.Learn To Say No.
This is the hardest 2 letter word in our language especially when we try to say it to our family. You have to know your limits of what you can and cannot do. Your children, your spouse, your boss..it seems as if everyone wants a piece of you. If you have always said yes to their demands get ready for some push back when you finally discover the word NO.
However, when you say no to someone else you are really saying yes to yourself!
No I cannot help on that committee = Yes I can exercise 3 times a week!
No I cannot cook dinner tonight = Yes I can take that long relaxing bath I deserve!
No, I cannot do all of the cooking for Mom =Yes I can enjoy my time with Mom. :-)
Get the idea?
3. Create Me Time
Schedule some time every week to nurture yourself. Now that you have learned to say no and you have organized a team to help you have some free time. Use it to replenish your spirit, nurture your soul and create that much needed balance in your life.
Get together with friends, have a date night with your spouse, do something fun with your family, join a yoga class…. The possibilities are endless!
As Certified Long-Term Care professionals since 2003, and members of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, both Sue and Allison have the training, knowledge, and experience to help you understand your options.
Sue Myers and Allison Younger
With over 20 years of experience, both women are committed to ensuring that their client’s long-term care needs are met while their wealth is protected.