Advice and Respite for Caregivers

More and more adults are finding themselves in the caregiver role for their aging parents. Some do it voluntarily. Others find that the duties were thrust upon them. In both cases, those who are now caring for their parent will join the ranks of other stressed caregivers. However, you don't have to follow the pack. Instead, take advantage of the various resources available to ensure you are the best caregiver your loved one needs. You do not have to do this alone when you choose to utilize a service that offers senior care at home. These professionals can easily step in and take some of the burden off you so that you can refresh and reenergize, knowing that your mom or dad is in good hands.

How to Care for Yourself to Offer Better Care for Your Senior

Are you ready to be the best caregiver you can be? Start by taking the advice of those who have gone before you, work on your self-care, and add some respite care. You will soon find you have a recipe for success.

1. Advice to Consider when You Are a Stressed Caregiver

Many caregivers fall into patterns where they believe they are alone, or no one can care for their aging parent as well as they do. What happens then is that the caregiver takes on more and more responsibilities to the detriment of their health. If you have taken on the duty of a caregiver to your aging parent, heed the following advice so that you do not face burnout before you have started:

  • Remember that you are not alone. Others are in a similar situation as you and will be happy to support you in this venture. Check out groups focused on caregiving and join in. Ask questions about senior care at home. Seek their advice, and you can reap the benefits of it.
  • Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. You can better care for your loved one when you are rested and on top of your health. Do your best to see your doctor for regular checkups, exercise, eat healthy, nutritious meals, and get adequate quality sleep.
  • Set up an organization system. You will have plenty of paperwork to stay on top of when you are a primary caregiver for your senior. Developing a strategy to organize medical information will make it much easier when speaking to doctors. Also, now is a great time to get your loved one's legal documents in order.

You may also want to learn about Make Your Journey Easier – Advice for Stressed Caregivers

2. Tips to Take Better Care of Yourself as a Caregiver

Do you feel frustrated, tired, and irritable as you go about your caregiving duties? You might find that you are sleep-deprived, your eating habits are poor, and you keep pushing yourself even when ill. These are signs that you need to take better care of yourself. Why not implement these steps to start taking better care of yourself?

  • Learn ways to reduce your stress. Consider the warning signs that your stress levels are at their peak. Learn to assess what you can and cannot change. So many caregivers stress over things they cannot change, and sometimes those are not even important. Learning to leave those items alone may be a game-changer for you.
  • Empower yourself by setting goals. Having goals to work toward helps you grow as a person and empowers you. Think about what you would like to accomplish in the next three to six months, and then break them into smaller steps to get you there.
  • Ask for and accept help from others. You don't have to be a superhero and do everything yourself. Instead, be willing to ask for help. When others offer to run some errands for Mom or come over so that you can get away, take them up on it. Getting professional home care from time to time is also a good idea.  

Read more about Taking Care of Yourself as a Caregiver

3. Why You Should Choose Respite Care

Taking time for yourself may feel like a dream. You may spend days at work and then come home to care for your dad. Vacation days from work are often filled with taking Mom to her doctor appointments. How are you going to get any breaks? By taking advantage of respite care! Consider these benefits:

  • You get the opportunity to unwind. It isn't easy to relax when you have constant demands from your caregiving duties. Respite care provides that opportunity to recharge and refresh.
  • You can reconnect with friends. Your duties will make it more challenging to stay engaged with friends. By utilizing respite care services, you can have that long-overdue lunch with your best friend.
  • You can regain perspective. Living in the trenches may make you frustrated and even short-sighted on what is going on. Time away provides the opportunity to see things more clearly. You may even find new ways and resources to aid you in your duties.

Read more about Why You Should Choose Respite Care

4. Respite Care Options in Ontario

Respite care takes on a few different forms. Ontario offers you a few other options so that you can get the time away to recharge and reenergize, such as:

  • Care at home.  You can leave the house while your senior is cared for by a personal care worker or health care professional. Some services with this option include personal support, homemaking, and nursing care or physiotherapy.
  • Short stay in a long-term care facility. When you need a vacation but are unsure who will watch over Dad, this option may work. It provides extended care in a long-term care home; for example, you can go on a two-week cruise if you want to.
  • Adult day programs. This option is a good choice when you need a day or a few days off, and your loved one can attend an adult day program.

Read more about Respite Care Options in Ontario

Be the Best Caregiver You Can with Help from Home Instead

Bring your A-game into your caregiving duties when you take advantage of the services of a personal care assistant from Home Instead. Our caregivers are trained to step in and offer the support you need to ensure your loved one is taken care of. We believe that aging-in-place is possible with the right help. Contact us to learn more about our services, including respite care, today.

Call us at (905) 276-2273 to schedule a no-obligation, in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality senior care we deliver, every day, to families in All Mississauga including: Clarkson, Cooksville, Dixie, Erin Mills, Erindale, Lakeview, Lorne Park, Port Credit, Sheridan, Streetsville

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