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Caring for an elderly parent or spouse with an illness can be stressful, particularly when you are trying to balance your own work and family. Try incorporating these simple to-do’s into your daily life to get more fulfillment—and less anxiety—from taking care of mom or dad.
Ask for help.
No one can do it all alone—and nobody should. Turn to family and friends for assistance with your loved one’s errands and appointments. Or consider hiring a home health aide to provide help during the day for several hours per day; it may even be covered by insurance.
Take a break.
Once you’ve found a trustworthy source to fill in, use the time to do something for you. Enjoy a pastime that gives you real pleasure and resist the urge to talk about your situation or check in on things at home. Savoring the experience while it’s happening will give you lots to talk about with mom and dad when you get back—and that’s something they’ll delight in, too.
Keep your life.
Maintain your own hobbies and interests, as well as your social connections and work obligations. Putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own all the time can lead to resentment. Plus, having other outlets will make caregiving seem easier to manage.
Take care of yourself.
Get enough sleep, eat well and exercise—you will feel better and more capable of taking the best possible care of your loved one.
Stay in Touch.
Caregivers who maintain connections report feeling less stressed. Get the support you need from friends, family—and from other caregivers. You’ll find a community waiting for you on VNSNY’s Facebook page.
To find out how VNSNY can help you care for your family member, please call 1-800-675-0391.