According to Statistics Canada, nearly 30 percent of caregivers assist senior loved ones with age-related conditions. Providing care for a loved one can be physically and emotionally demanding and time-consuming. For this reason, it’s important to make an effort to find happiness in your own life as you tend to your loved one’s needs. Here’s what you can do to find a happy balance in your role as a family caregiver.
Maintain Meaningful Relationships
All too often, family caregivers lose touch with friends and other important people in their lives, which can contribute to the same kind of isolation and loneliness they’re trying to prevent in their loved ones. Invest in high-quality interactions as a family caregiver by:
• Turning to other family members and friends for emotional support
• Treating yourself to meaningful time with other people in your life
• Setting reasonable boundaries with your loved one to minimize excessive time demands when it’s safe and reasonable to do so
Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Waterloo families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
Ask for & Accept Help
There’s no shame in asking for or accepting help as a family caregiver. You’ll be much happier if you admit you can’t do it all. If other family members aren’t available, consider respite or in-home care so you can take breaks to recharge and tend to your own needs.
Families looking for top-rated Waterloo homecare providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
Focus on the Positive Aspects of Caregiving
You’ll be happier as a caregiver if you focus more on the positive things about caring for your loved one instead of the more mundane, challenging, unpleasant, or demanding tasks. Some of the happier aspects of caring for an older loved one include:
• Spending quality time together
• Helping with favorite activities like cooking or craft projects
• Sharing happy memories and creating new ones
Start a Gratitude Journal
As your loved one gets older, or if he or she has a chronic or progressive condition, it can be difficult to stay positive as his or her care needs increase and change over time. One way to handle situations like these is to keep a gratitude journal, which is simply a notebook you write in to document meaningful and fun times with your loved one. For times when things get emotionally difficult, browse through your journal to remind yourself of the things you love about your parent.
Take Care of Your Own Health
You’ll be more likely to be a happy family caregiver if you take care of your own health needs, which includes eating healthy meals that give you sufficient energy, getting plenty of sleep, and keeping up with doctors’ appointments. Finding ways to exercise each day can do wonders for your mood because exercise naturally boosts the release of “feel-good” hormones called endorphins.
Do Kind Things for Others
When not caring for your loved one, use some of your free time to volunteer, give to a worthy cause, or randomly do something nice for another person. Simple acts like these can give you a reason to feel good and be happy.
If providing care for your loved one has become challenging, consider hiring a professional caregiver. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior care. Turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. If you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 519-954-2110.