Caring for Yourself
Caring for older loved ones aging at home can be a roller coaster. Some days feel exciting, hopeful, happy and promising; while others feel exhausting, overwhelming, stressful and impossible. It’s important (and not selfish!) to think of your own health and wellness as you balance care tasks. Here are some tips on managing stress and avoiding burnout.
Share your feelings
Don’t hold everything in! Connect with people you trust, whether it’s a close friend, family member, or colleague—it will feel good to get things off your chest! You could also try journaling. Even during the most chaotic days, take a moment to jot down your thoughts, feelings and daily insights.
Make a list of daily activities and chores, and try to delegate as much as you can. Do you have a sibling who is good at finances? Ask them to help with creating a budgeting spreadsheet. And maybe your spouse can make dinner twice a week. People want to help, so don’t be afraid to lean on others for additional support.
Get plenty of z’s
Don’t skimp on sleep! You’re better able to cope with stress when being well rested. Plus, it can also improve your concentration and decision making. If you’re having trouble winding down, keep an eye on your caffeine intake and pre-bed screen time!
The most grim and difficult situations are desperate for some levity. For families with loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s, it can be incredibly frustrating to repeat yourself and handle difficult behavior and mood swings. Look for ways to be silly and giggle, reducing the stress, and lightening the mood
Find the right solution
If you can identify what is causing you the most stress (time crunched, day-to-day duties, finances), there may be good solutions to help! There are countless community services and resources, such as respite care, day programs, volunteers and food delivery. (Wellthy can help find the right one and set it up for you!)