Caregiving for a loved one is an emotional journey that can be both challenging and fulfilling. Caregivers often juggle multiple responsibilities in addition to their loved one’s needs - such as working, raising a family, and trying to care for themselves.
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming if you’re in the midst of your caregiving journey. For those moments, we’ve created a list of three simple questions you can ask yourself to take a step back and re-assess the situation.
Question 1: What can I do right now?
Caregiving can feel like an onslaught of chores all at once - get breakfast for your loved one; walk the dog; get ready for work; drop off the car for an appointment.
You can feel more in control of the situation when you take a broader look at what needs to be accomplished and pick one task you can do right now. You can then decide which things, and in which order, need to happen next.
Focus on tasks you can complete in a short amount of time that will chip away at your to-do list - quick wins. If it helps, you can create a list of to-dos, freeing your brain up for other thoughts and providing the satisfaction of checking off tasks.
Because it’s natural - and OK! - to not be able to do everything, you can also ask yourself…
Question 2: What can I shift to someone else?
Some caregivers feel that they need to personally do everything when it comes to caregiving. But that kind of thinking can place too much burden on you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. And help can come in a variety of ways - from friends and family offering to take your loved one to an appointment, to professional help like respite care or adult day services.
Collecting a list of resources you can turn to when you need a helping hand may be useful. This could include:
- Friends, family, and neighbors who are willing to help with tasks around the house
- Professional services like those mentioned above
- Local caregiver support groups or resources in your area
While it’s sometimes difficult to ask for help, doing so can actually empower you to get more done, feel more confident about the care you’re providing, and reduce your stress.
Question 3: How am I feeling?
You may spend so much time focused on your loved one’s needs that you don’t think about your own.
Take a quick break to assess how you’re doing physically and mentally. Are you feeling tired? Stressed? Hungry? Upset? Dive into your feelings in more depth and think of ways you can address that need for yourself.
It’s natural for your thoughts to run more toward your loved one than yourself and your time. But it’s also important for you to take care of yourself, enabling you to be a better caregiver.
The Mayo Clinic suggests several ways to practice self-care as a caregiver, including:
- Setting realistic goals for yourself around caregiving
- Setting goals for your personal health, including getting enough sleep, drinking water, and eating nutritious meals
- Seeking social support from friends and family who understand your situation
When it’s Time for More HelpSometimes, you reach a point where it’s no longer feasible or advisable to continue caring for your loved one on your own. The next step may be long-term care at a senior living community.
Located conveniently between Cincinnati and Dayton, Otterbein SeniorLife Lebanon is the area’s premier senior living community. Our skilled nursing center offers all of the following:
- Round-the-clock assistance
- Medication administration
- Therapeutic and social programming
- Three meals provided each day
- An excellent reputation in the industry, with an “A” rating by Standard and Poor’s
Learn more about skilled nursing at Otterbein Lebanon and contact us today to inquire about availability.