Are you struggling to cope with caring for your aging parents? If yes, then you are far from alone. With an ever-increasing aging population and a lack of funds for senior care, there have never been more people taking on the role of caregiver for their parents.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to make sure your own well-being is taken care of as well as that of your parents. Read on to discover five simple self-care techniques that you can adopt in order to ensure you maintain good physical and mental health while caring for your aging parents.
1. Take time for yourself
Can you remember the last time you took some time for yourself? Not to spend time with your family or to run an errand but purely for you?
Taking time for yourself is crucial when caring for aging parents, as without it, you run the risk of burnout (which is not good for anyone).
Whether you take a long bath at the end of each day, go for a run around the park, or read a book in bed, make sure that you consistently set time aside for yourself in order to relax and recuperate.
2. Ask for help
If you are guilty of running yourself into the ground while caring for your parents and also carrying out your other daily commitments, then now is the time to ask others around you for help.
If you have siblings or other family members who could help to take on some of the burden, then don’t be afraid to ask them to step up and help out.
Alternatively, if you do not have anyone else around you, then there are several charities and local organizations that offer support services for caregivers.
3. Consider respite care
Respite care refers to short-term care that is designed to give caregivers a break from the physical and mental stresses of caring for someone on a regular basis. It can also be used to provide help for people who are recovering from an operation or illness.
You can find respite care services in most residential care homes, such as this care home in Banstead which offers both short- and long-term care.
4. Look after your health
To make sure you are physically fit enough to care for your elderly parents, you need to make sure you are looking after your overall health and well-being.
Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, eat a balanced and nutritious diet, and drink the recommended amount of water. Also, try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, focusing on a combination of cardiovascular fitness and strength training.
5. Be kind to yourself
If you are guilty of beating yourself up when you make a mistake or when you can’t do everything that is asked of you, then now is the time to stop these destructive thoughts.
You are not Superman (or Woman) and there will be times when you fail or when you simply can’t do everything that is required. Rather than berate yourself for this, make sure you are kind to yourself.