It's hard enough managing the to-do's in our own lives. Add to that the responsibility of in home care – managing every aspect of someone else’s life too – and it can be overwhelming. Yet that is exactly what millions of people do each year providing senior services for their aging parents, and it is taking its toll. According to a study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, more than 50 percent of those providing assisted living services for their parents experience increased levels of stress and strain, often to the point of being detrimental to their health.
In other words, it does your aging parent little good if you run yourself down to the point of exhaustion while providing for their personal care, companionship or homemaking needs. It is critical that while looking after the mental, emotional and physical health of your loved one that you take precautionary steps to preserve your own.
Follow these 5 steps to ease the stress of caregiving in your life:
- Maintain a healthy diet. You know how important eating well is to your aging parent. Well, it is equally important to you, so do yourself and your loved one a favor – make it a habit of eating at least three balanced meals a day.
- Exercise. You need all the strength you can get when caring for an aging parent, especially if they need assistance moving around, so staying physically fit is critical. Equally important, physical activity is a great stress reliever – the perfect way to re-energize yourself so you can be at your best, for your loved one and for yourself.
- Get plenty of sleep. As exhausted as your body may be from running around all day caring for yourself and caring for your loved one, that often doesn’t stop your mind from working overtime, especially at night. Worry is inevitable, but find a routine that helps ensure you get plenty of rest, whether that means a hot cup of chamomile tea before bed or taking naps throughout the day whenever you have an opportunity.
- Go in for regular medical checkups. When you’re caring for someone else, it can be easy to dismiss signs of your own ill health. Or there may be things going on that you’re not even aware of. Just to be safe, it’s important that you see a doctor on a regular basis, as stress is one of the number one causes of physical illness.
- Consider professional in home care.Whether you’re helping your aging parent just a few days a week or 24/7, you and your loved one can benefit from in home care with a professional caregiver. For instance, Synergy HomeCare is widely known as the most trusted name in home care, providing senior services throughout Arizona, including:
- Personal care services
- Homemaking services
- Companionship services
In home care can be especially beneficial to those whose aging parents are living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, as helping a loved one with these conditions can be particularly challenging. You not only need help for them, but respite care for you so you can get away for a while to avoid burn-out.
For more information about easing the stress of caring for an aging parent through in home care, visit www.arizonacaregiver.com.