Aging is just a factor of life. We all grow old. And as we begin to age, day to day task become increasingly more difficult to do alone. There comes a point in every person’s life to where they are no longer able to solely care for themselves.
When that point comes, a lot of aging adults rely on family members to become their caregivers. From travel, to cooking meals, to daily chores around the house, the assistance needs of elderly adults may vary, but are an inevitable part of life.
For family members, adjusting to the transition of being a member of a family to being a caregiver can be a difficult and confusing time. Hopefully, these 3 things will help prepare you and your family during the transition process.
3 things to expect when caring for a loved one
1) Prepare yourself emotionally.
For most of your life, those older than you have cared for you. They have taken care of you and you have looked up to them and admired them as leaders in your life. There comes a point in your life when that is going to change and you are going to take on that role for them.
Before you take on the task of caring for a loved one, you need to adequately prepare yourself for the emotional toll of seeing your loved ones become more and more dependent on care and assistance and less like the image of them that you are familiar with.
2) Set boundaries before you ever begin.
A lot of time caregivers take on the role over time. It starts out as bringing a warm meal over during the week. Then running errands like picking up groceries or going to the pharmacy, and before you know it, your loved one needs your help for more and more tasks.
Although it may be extremely difficult to set up boundaries with someone you love, it is necessary. It is not feasible for you to do whatever is asked of you, whenever it is asked for your loved one. In many instances, caring for someone can quickly become a full-time job, so before you ever start, have a talk with your loved one and set up a list of things and times you are able to help.
3) Don’t forget to take care of yourself.
When someone else needs you for their food, grooming, social interaction and other daily tasks, it is easy to forget to take care of yourself. Your instincts are going to lead you to surrender yourself completely to ensure that your aging loved one is completely taken care of, after all, you may be all they have.
But if you are not taking time to rejuvenate and ensure that you are not stretched too thin or too overwhelmed, then you are not going to be of any help to your loved one anyway. Taking care of yourself and ensuring you are in the best physical and mental shape will allow you to best care for your loved one.
If taking care of your loved one is becoming too much of a toll on your schedule and your physical and mental health, let us help. We offer caregivers and companions anywhere from a few hours a day to 24/7. Give us a call at 1.828.200.9000 or fill out our contact form and we will discuss the best possible solution for you and your family.