Family caregivers may seem like saints, but they’re often filled with anxiety and frustration. Although each day may not be as perfect as they want, there are things family caregivers can do to increase their happiness. Try to incorporate these ideas into your caregiving plans so you benefit from feeling happier as you carry out your duties.
1. Talk about Your Senior Loved One’s Preferences
Caregivers sometimes dread having to make major decisions. If your loved one becomes incapacitated, you may worry if what you’re doing is even what your parent wants. Talking to your loved one now helps you avoid feeling guilty or unsure of the choices you make on his or her behalf. You’ll feel a sense of relief when you know your commitment to helping your loved one age in place is aligned with his or her goals.
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted senior care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
2. Choose to Focus on the Positive
It’s easy to get fixated on negative events that happen during the day. For instance, you might feel upset because your loved one refused to eat a meal you prepared, or you might be frustrated about his or her sundowning behavior. Try to let the rough moments go, and choose to focus on the positive things that happen. You can even keep a gratitude journal that documents special moments, such as when your loved one makes progress with brain training activities.
3. Consider the Source of Criticism
You’ll occasionally come across people who think they know more than you do about your loved one’s care. For instance, you might have a sibling who tries to tell you how to do your job. While you should listen to doctors and family members who may notice you seem overburdened, you should avoid letting someone make you feel like a poor caregiver. When you get advice, think about the source. If it’s a professional or someone who is genuinely concerned for your wellbeing, consider the advice. Otherwise, let it go if the person seems to be operating from a negative point of view.
4. Be Willing to Let Other People Help
As with any role, you have strengths you can use to give your loved one the best care possible. You may also have things you’re not so good at that you can delegate. Many family caregivers choose to hand over tasks they don’t enjoy to professional caregivers, which could prevent resentment that clouds your happiness.
If providing care for your loved one has become challenging, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families looking for top-rated Oshkosh home care 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.
5. Find Ways to Bond with Your Loved One
One of the reasons you took on the role of caregiver was to spend time with your loved one. Try to avoid getting so caught up in checking things off your to-do list that you forget to have fun with your loved one. Plan something special to do each day that helps you remember the wonderful reasons you want to make his or her life easier.
6. Continue to Practice Self-Care
Regular breaks help you restore your patience and joy as a caregiver. Arrange for respite care so you can occasionally have some time off. During these times, you can take care of your physical and mental health so you avoid becoming too run down to feel happy.
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. Oshkosh families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (920) 573-6295 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.