Many family caregivers spend hours every day tending to their senior loved one’s needs. They provide many kinds of care, ranging from medical assistance to emotional support. Busy caregivers often neglect their own health, which can have lasting consequences. Here are a few tips on maintaining emotional health when caring for an aging parent.
Break Harmful Habits
If caregiving has left you feeling emotionally overwhelmed, try to figure out what’s preventing you from tending to your own needs. The lack of self-care may represent an ingrained pattern of behavior. Do you balk at the idea of putting yourself first? Are you afraid to ask for help? When taking a break from caregiving, do you feel like you’re betraying your loved one? When behavior is motivated by stress-inducing misconceptions, it impacts emotional health. Recognizing the misconceptions that influence your behavior is the first step to breaking harmful habits.
Caring for an aging parent can be an overwhelming responsibility, especially when it is managed alone. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Winnipeg Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
Avoid Negative Self-Talk
Many caregivers neglect their needs by using negative self-talk. When considering an activity that would benefit you, like cooking a healthy dinner or exercising, you may focus on why you can’t do that activity. You can’t cook a healthy dinner because you don’t have the right ingredients, or you can’t exercise because you don’t have a gym membership. When you catch yourself avoiding self-care with this type of rhetoric, try to counter negativity with positivity. If you think, “I can’t exercise because I don’t have a gym membership,” you can counter by thinking, “I’ll find a 10-minute strength training video on YouTube, and I’ll do it after lunch.” Even if you don’t follow through on your stated goal, creating a more positive mental environment can lead to future progress.
Find the Source of Your Stress
Caregiving is a high-stress job, and you have to find a way to manage your stress levels. There are several signs that indicate your stress levels are getting out of control. If you’re unusually forgetful, irritable, or tired, it may be due to excessive stress buildup. Once you’ve acknowledged the issue, try to figure out the specific cause of your stress. The source of your elevated stress levels may be the argument you had with your sister last week or the fear you’re not doing enough to help your loved one.
Taking a break from your caregiving responsibilities is a good way to relax and de-stress. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Winnipeg, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break.
Focus on the Possible
After you’ve found the source of your stress, consider what you can change and what you have no control over. If your stress is caused by a family disagreement, you can control your behavior going forward. You can choose to apologize, hold your ground, or seek reconciliation.
Engage in Stress-Relieving Activities
You should also try stress-relieving treatments. Many caregivers turn to activities like meditation and exercise when they’re feeling emotionally overwhelmed. These activities can help you regain control over your emotions, and they’re good for the mind, body, and soul.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to provide your aging parent with high-quality care without overexerting yourself. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide senior home care, Winnipeg, MB, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (204) 489 6000 today.