Family caregivers take on the noble and selfless duty of caring for an elderly parent, relative, or friend. However, many caregivers deal with the challenges of feeling burnt out, feeling resentful toward loved ones or other people who haven’t been as helpful, or feeling like they can’t ask for help.
If you’re creating a list of resolutions for the new year, set some goals to help you in caring for a loved one. These resolutions can be beneficial in helping family caregivers focus on the positive aspects of care and managing their well-being and energy levels so they can avoid exhausting themselves.
Focus on your accomplishments, not your shortfalls
When caring for a senior loved one, it’s easy for caregivers to focus on their shortcomings and what they can do to improve themselves. However, if you hyperfocus on your weaknesses, you may end up feeling inadequate or unable to provide the support your loved one needs. This can make you susceptible to exhaustion and burnout and negatively impact your mental health.
Make a resolution to focus on what you have accomplished instead of what you could’ve done better. Even on particularly difficult days, it’s important to look for silver linings. Staying positive can help you feel more confident about your role as a caregiver and your ability to care for your loved one.
Spend more quality time with your loved one
Being a primary caregiver for a loved one allows you to spend more time with them. However, since you’re spending most of this time helping them with everyday tasks and ensuring their health and safety, it can be easy to feel resentful of their current situation and lose sight of what’s really important. More importantly, it can be easy to forget how much you love them and appreciate how much they’ve done for you or how much joy they’ve brought you over the years. They’re not just a responsibility; they’re a parent, relative, or a good friend.
Make a resolution to spend quality time with your loved one. Instead of focusing on what they need help with, spend time with them doing what they love or a favorite shared activity. For example, if your loved one enjoys reading, spend the day with them at your local library, talk about some good books you’ve read recently, or consider forming a book club with some of their neighbors. This will help you remember that they’re not just someone you’re caring for; they’re someone you love.
Make time for self-care
Many family caregivers don’t focus enough on their own needs. When you spend so much time caring for a loved one, it’s easy to forget to make time to care for your own needs. You may also feel selfish about taking time for yourself.
However, the act of self-care is not cruel or selfish. It’s actually very important for family caregivers to spend time caring for themselves. Burnout is a common issue family caregivers face, especially those who don’t carve out time for self-care. If you don’t make time to focus on your mental, emotional, and physical health, it can negatively affect your abilities as a caregiver. Everyone will benefit if you spend some time resting and relaxing!
Make a resolution to focus on self-care routines. You can spend time focusing on some of your favorite hobbies, hang out with friends and family, or simply take some time to rest and relax. Consider scheduling some check-ups with your healthcare provider and focus on some health-related goals, as well.
Self-care can also involve setting boundaries. Be cognizant of what responsibilities you can or can’t handle and learn to push back on requests you don’t feel you can take on. Stretching yourself too thin to please others doesn’t benefit anyone in the long run; if you overextend yourself, it’ll make it easier to burn out.
Cherish family and friends who have supported you as a caregiver
When caring for a loved one, you may feel resentment toward the people in your life who could help out but choose not to. But these feelings of resentment can make you forget about the help you have received over time.
Make a resolution to appreciate the support you’ve received from friends, family, and neighbors. Your siblings may have taken over caregiving responsibilities for a period of time while you’ve taken some time for yourself. You may have had neighbors who have brought over food, essentials, and anything that may have been useful. You may have vented about your caregiving responsibilities to your closest friends. It’s important to be thankful to those who have helped you out and to tell them how much their support has meant to you.
Consider hiring a professional in-home caregiver from Home Care Assistance
As a family caregiver, you may struggle with asking for help. However, needing help isn’t a sign of weakness and doesn’t mean you’re not a good caregiver. Everyone needs help once in a while and it’s important to lean on resources when you need them most.
Whether your loved one’s condition has escalated to the point that you can’t handle caregiving on your own or you need some time for self-care, make a resolution to hire a professional in-home caregiver from Home Care Assistance of Greater Burlington. We can provide the assistance and support your loved one needs in order to age in place safely and comfortably. Our caregivers can assist with daily activities, like preparing meals, light housekeeping, and running errands. We can also keep a close eye on your loved one and inform you if we notice any changes in their behavior or well-being.
With Home Care Assistance by your side, you can have peace of mind knowing your loved one is in good hands. No need to feel guilty; there will always be a kind and compassionate caregiver here to help.
Contact Home Care Assistance of Greater Burlington today to schedule a free in-home consultation!