While caring for your aging parent is a labor of love, it is still labor. As you spend more and more of your time caring for your senior parent, you may find yourself giving up favorite hobbies and vacations, saying no to friends, feeling distracted at work and getting more stressed with your spouse and children. Over time, juggling caregiving with work, raising children and managing a household increases your risk for depression, chronic illness and a decline in your overall quality of life. And the stress of caring for a loved one while managing your family and household can lead to significant health issues, both physically and mentally.
Despite these risks, you may neglect good health habits if you’re like many caregivers. You may skimp on sleep, eat poorly, skip regular exercise, keep going even when you’re not feeling well or even postpone your own medical appointments. If you’re a caregiver who neglects your own health, you’re more likely to suffer from a chronic condition such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure and obesity. Caregiving can also take a toll on your mental health, with an estimated 46 percent to 59 percent of caregivers suffering from clinical depression.
What about your children, spouse or partner?
Spending quality time with family is everything. From going on a vacation to running errands together, the time that you spend with your family is important and to be cherished. For family caregivers, making the time to connect with one another may not be attainable as you’d like and it's common to feel a disconnect with your children or partner when much of your responsibilities are elsewhere.
It’s time to pause and ask yourself: “What good will I be to the person I care for if I get sick?” As a caregiver, you must take good care of yourself—even while you are taking care of your aging loved one.
It is possible to take some much-needed time for yourself while meeting the needs of your senior parent through SYNERGY HomeCare’s respite care services.
Adult children can be thrown into the caregiver role when they least expect it. It only takes an aging parent’s illness, a slip in the bathroom or a collision caused by a mistake in the driver’s seat, and an adult child may find their new job as a caregiver—a role that few people adequately plan or prepare for. For practical tips and advice on caregiving, below are some good resources for you to download:
Where Do We Begin
A 52-page guide offers insights, scenarios and helps as you begin the caregiving role for an elderly parent. This guide will answer your questions and provide a foundation for preparing a care plan for your aging loved one.
Play it Safe
A guide to the subtle warning signs your aging loved one needs help.
Conversation on Aging
A how-to guide on how to have "the conversation" with your aging parent about getting some help for them in their home.
We understand how your life is impacted when you're unable to have quality family time or time for yourself. We can provide tips on how to manage time spent with family members and your aging loved one. But most importantly, we'll help you schedule much-needed breaks for some me-time.