Five New Year’s Resolutions for Adult Caregivers.
Caregiving for an elder family member can be a full-time job, leaving a person with no time for themselves or the ability to enjoy the things they like to do. Many people enjoy making resolutions at New Years and what better resolution than to resolve to take better care of yourself!
It’s okay to recognize the fact that you need a break, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Caregiving can often seem like a never-ending circle of appointments, meal times and med passes. One might often wonder when they’ll be able to get a full night’s sleep again. New Years is a time to start fresh and realize it is possible to change things for the positive in your life.
Here are some strategies and tips that will help you alleviate whatever caregiving stress you have in your life. Make it a resolution to change those things that are stressing you out the most.
- Resolve to take care of yourself: It’s often said without your health you can’t enjoy your wealth. Whether that wealth is monetary or you are rich in family, take care of yourself so you can enjoy that wealth! Go to your doctor appointments, eat well, make those eye and dentist appointments. Take time to exercise or continue your favorite hobbies. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to stay with your loved one while you care for yourself.
- Resolve to seek help when overwhelmed: Remember that seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a show of strength. Reach out to your local adult day services center, area agency on aging, neurologists offices or even the Alzheimer’s Association for resources.
- Resolve to find time for yourself: Force yourself to find time to do something at least once a week outside of the house for yourself and preferably with people you enjoy being around. Even though you may be leaving the home often, running your loved one to appointments or going grocery shopping with them, doesn’t really count as positive socialization and even caregivers can suffer from social isolation, especially in the winter months.
- Resolve to not feel guilty about saying no: Remember, it’s ok to say no. Maybe your children are requesting a babysitter for your grandkids, but you wonder how you can manage that while caring for your loved one. Just say no. It’s ok. You are only one person and they will figure something else out.
- Resolve to do your best for yourself and your loved one: Even though you may be the best caregiver in town, you are still only one person. You can’t replace the variety of activities and socialization your loved one received prior to you caring for them. Being in the home with them all day or even hiring caregivers isn’t giving them the socialization and engaging activities to help them thrive and feel purpose in life. Consider an adult day care program like the Adult Day Services Center at the YWCA Bethlehem. Your loved one can spend the day making new friends, having two meals a day and a snack, along with a day full of activities. Best of all, you are free to take time for you in whatever way helps you feel refreshed and ready to take on the world!
Always remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Whether you chose an adult day services program or stick it out alone. There are plenty of resources available. Make it a resolution not to needlessly struggle on your own anymore.
If you would like more information about the YWCA Bethlehem’s Adult Day Services Center, please call the Director, Yvonne Toth at 610-867-4669 Ext 100 or feel free to email at firstname.lastname@example.org.