Taking on the role of a caregiver, especially for an aging parent, is a very noble and rewarding task but it can sometimes lead to stress. When you need to manage your own obligations and at the same time care for someone who often needs assistance, the physical and emotional toll can wear you down. Embrace the new family dynamic as a caregiver and follow these tips to combat caregiver stress.
1. Understand and accept the circumstances
Sometimes becoming a caregiver can be a shock. It might be hard to accept that your parent or relative needs constant support and that you will need to be there for them. Think of it as a positive situation and think about the bonding that will occur between you and your parent. Accept the circumstances and the additional help that your parent will need. If you start to feel stressed, take a look at the signs and identify that you might need support.
2. Use the resources available
When it’s your parent that needs support, it could feel like you’re the only one that can provide it. Take a step back and think about your resources and who can help you. Are there other family members that you can talk to? Is there a local community centre or seniors centre that can provide support? Maybe a local service like Wheel Trans or Meals on Wheels can help out with some challenges.
It can be rewarding to aid your aging parent with their needs and sometimes it can be hard to trust others to support someone you love. These are understandable concerns, but if you find that you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, there are positive and safe resources available for your loved one. If you need extra support, a personal support worker could be a huge help. Visit your local CCAC or contact us at Qualicare to learn more about personal support workers.
3. Think about yourself
If someone you know is in constant need, it can be hard to think about your own personal wellbeing. It’s always important to take time for yourself and stay healthy. Take some time everyday to reflect on your needs and do things that you enjoy. No one can possibly be attentive 24 hours a day, and there’s nothing wrong with taking time for yourself.
4. Talk about it
If you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, it can be really helpful to talk to someone about it. A family member or close friend is always a great resource. You’ll find that talking about your concerns and worries makes them easier to handle. Take a look at local support groups and caregiver communities to see if there are weekly meetings to talk about your experiences.
5. Stay positive
Always remember that the work you’re doing is helping someone in need. Though your parent might not seem grateful (this could be due to an illness or lack of understanding), they are dependent on you and happy for your support. Stay positive and keep enjoying the time you spend with friends and family.
The responsibility of being a caregiver is always large and can seem like a daunting task, but helping someone in need is an amazing experience. If you ever need help during your journey, or you have any questions about caregiving, contact us at Qualicare or subscribe to our blog.