When a parent or loved one is elderly or disabled, you may decide to take on the role of caregiver. As a caregiver, you are in charge of scheduling appointments, making sure they take their medications, and performing household duties, such as cooking and cleaning. In many ways, being a caregiver is a full-time job, and like any job, you need to take routine breaks. Following a few simple tips can help you prevent burnout.
Mind Your Health
The healthier you are, the more capable you are of providing care. You don’t have to go on a strict diet or make a huge overhaul of your life; just follow some basic guidelines. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, get eight hours of sleep each night, and exercise for a few minutes each day.
Nurture a Hobby
Find a hobby you enjoy and devote at least a few hours to it each week. It can be anything outside of your usual caregiving routine that brings you joy and keeps your mind at ease. You can choose anything from reading a book to visiting museums in your area.
Socialize Outside of the Home
Devote a few evenings a month to socializing with others outside of the home. You can meet friends for brunch or dinner, go bowling, or watch a movie — anything that gives you reprieve from your usual routine. Make these hangouts a priority, and don’t skip them unless there is an emergency.
Ask for Help
If you ever feel you are becoming overwhelmed by your duties, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This may mean sharing caregiving responsibilities with a sibling, scheduling nurse visits from a home attendant, or taking your family member to an adult day care where they can spend time with other seniors for a few hours each day.
Make Yourself a Priority
Serving from an empty cup is impossible. Make yourself and your health a priority so you can give your loved one the best care. If you ever feel you are so overwhelmed you cannot fulfill certain obligations, especially those outside of the home, allow yourself to say no in some situations. Give yourself breaks and spread out your responsibilities as much as possible.
If you need some help with your duties as a caregiver, contact Deer Valley Home Health Services. This agency provides families in the Berkeley, MO, area with elderly and home health care options. To learn more, visit them online or call (314) 355-3679 to speak with a representative.