Eventually, there comes a time when adult children are expected to take care of their aging parents. After all of the tender love and care that your parents put into raising you, it is now your turn to act as their caregiver.
Caring for an elderly parent can be a rewarding task, but also a stressful one. It’s not easy to devote so much time to caregiving in addition to your ever-present obligations to work, children and community. The stress of being a caregiver can eventually lead to burnout if it is not managed in time. When you need to manage your stress, take a look at these helpful stress-management tips that we have put together for caregivers.
Ask for help
It can be crucial to ask for and accept help when caring for a senior citizen. When other people offer a helping hand, don’t be too proud or protective to refuse. Conversely, if you could use some help and your siblings, children or in-laws haven’t offered, you are perfectly justified in asking them to pitch in.
Plan for the future today
One of the biggest sources of stress for caregivers is dealing with the myriad legal issues that come with having an elderly parent. It can be overwhelming to think about everything that you and your parents will have to do to plan for the future. One way to cope with this stress is to address your parents’ future legal needs today. With the assistance of an attorney, caregivers can tackle estate planning, power of attorney, living wills and other legal matters for senior citizens.
Take care of yourself
Practicing self-care is an important way to mitigate stress. When you are in the role of caregiver, it can be all too easy to push your own needs aside in order to prioritize your loved one. But caring for your own mental, physical and emotional health should not be neglected. Check in with your doctor, get adequate sleep, exercise regularly and don’t forget to have some fun.
Support can come in the form of friends and family. It can also come in the form of a support group. There are many support groups available for stressed-out caregivers who need other people to talk to. In a support group, you can meet other people who are providing care for their aging parents and discuss the day-to-day challenges that you face.