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Surviving Caregiving

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By Shawn Turcotte

Owner of Home Instead Senior Care Edmonton, CPCA

Tired caregiverThe 21st century is seeing a phenomenon of adults who are sandwiched between caring for their own families, such as a spouse and children, and caring for their senior parents. These adults rush to drive their kids to soccer practice and then take their elderly mom or dad to the doctor, manage work schedules, cook meals, and attend to housekeeping. The constant balancing act going on can quickly lead to burnout and serious health issues.

It may be instinctive to put others’ needs before your own, but it can be destructive without regular breaks. To be the best caregiver you can be, it is vital that you take time for yourself and beat burnout.

Suggestions for Preventing Caregiver Burnout

At Home Instead Senior Care Edmonton, we support caregivers in caring for their senior loved ones. As the New Year rolls in, make it a goal to recharge. The following suggestions can help you be the best you can be so you can care for those who depend on you:

  1. Replenish your mind and body. It is critical to take the necessary time to recharge yourself with activities such as exercise, social events, or a hobby.  
  2. Pay attention to your health. With the constant demands of caring for others, you run a high risk of becoming sick. Stay healthy with regular checkups. See your doctor annually, and focus on keeping your health intact.
  3. Gather support. You may benefit from talking with friends or family about your struggles. If you do not have someone to talk to, seek out the help of a counselor or a support group.
  4. Eat healthily. Face it – you are no longer in your twenties. Even though you once could live off fries and chocolate milkshakes, that is no longer the case. Your body needs healthy foods packed with nutrients to get you through your days. Besides, your senior needs to eat healthy, too.
  5. Get some exercise. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which lift your mood and help you combat fatigue.
  6. Journal. Just as talking with someone about your frustrations can be helpful, journaling your thoughts and feelings can help. In the middle of all that went wrong, be sure to note what went well that day. It can serve as inspiration later.
  7. Take the day off. Ask family to step in and give you the day off, or hire respite caregiver to come in and take care of your mom while you take the afternoon to shop or have lunch with friends.

Keep your caregiving edge when you take control of your mental and physical health. Your elderly parent, your spouse, and your kids will be better served when you nurture yourself.  Home Instead Senior Care Edmonton assists families and their senior loved ones with a variety of in-home care options. Our caregivers are highly trained and ready to help you not only survive caregiving but also thrive in this season of life.

Call us at (780) 439-9990 to schedule a no-obligation in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality senior care we deliver each day to families in our community.


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