Caring for a loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be incredibly stressful. Caregiver stress can hurt your health, increasing your risk for illness and leaving you unable to care for yourself or the people you love. So don't discount how serious it can be. When you are feeling overwhelmed as a caregiver, there are things you can do to help reduce your stress without sacrificing your loved one's care.
Set Boundaries With Your Time and Energy
Boundaries are healthy. You have a finite amount of resources at your disposal, and setting boundaries can help you allocate them where they are most needed. For example, saying no is okay if someone asks you to bake your world-famous cookies for the local fundraiser in Clearwater while caring for an elderly parent. The charity can ask someone else to bake until you have more resources to devote to the cause. Your time and energy may be better spent caring for your parent.
Know What You Can (And Can't) Do
You might be an excellent cook or not mind cleaning but feel uncomfortable attending doctor's appointments or assisting with bathing a loved one. That's okay because we all have our strengths. Knowing what you are comfortable with can help you decide where you might need to rely on outside help. Maybe a sibling or grandchild can attend doctor's appointments with your loved one. Or you could bring professional care from Dunedin or Safety Harbor to help with things like bathing and personal hygiene. That way, you can focus on doing what you do best without feeling guilty about the tasks you'd rather avoid.
Make Time for Yourself
It's easy to get caught up in a lengthy to-do list when caring for a senior. It's essential, though, that you make time for yourself, too. Doing this may look like keeping up with a beloved hobby, taking time to go to the gym, or scheduling coffee with a friend in Pinellas Park. It might also look like taking time off of work through the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows you to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year to care for an immediate family member. Time for yourself can help reduce stress levels, enjoy what you love, and remind you there is life outside caregiving.
When Is It Time to Hire Professional Caretaking Services?
If you feel overwhelmed as a caregiver to a family member, consider hiring professional caretaking services. These services are often more affordable than you think, and you can tailor them to suit the needs of you and your loved one. Whether it's helping around the house, assisting with personal care needs, or respite care to give you a break, Senior Helpers Clearwater can help. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation to learn more about how we help residents in Clearwater, Largo, and surrounding areas.