How to Balance Caring for Yourself and Your Elderly Loved One

Caregivers in Hinsdale, IL in Need Care, Too

Caring for an elderly or terminally ill parent or other loved one can seem like a 24/7 job. You have likely made numerous sacrifices in order to care for your family member. You may have quit your job or find yourself spending less time with your children or spouse. If you feel yourself being pulled in many different directions, caregiving can feel like an overwhelming task. Even though it may seem like there are never enough hours in the day, it’s important that you take time out for the most important person – you!

It’s easy to overlook your own needs and focus on the person needing care. However, in order to be an effective home caregiver, you have to be at the top of your game – physically, mentally and emotionally.

How Is This Possible?

It may seem impossible to take care of both yourself and your loved ones. Here are some tips to help.

  • Take a break. Although your loved one depends on you, don’t feel guilty about taking a break and spending time with friends and other family members. Take part in an activity you enjoy doing. This will help you feel refreshed and you’ll be a better caregiver in the long run.
  • Get help. Don’t try to be Superwoman and do everything yourself. Remember that it’s OK to ask for help. Ask friends, neighbors and other family members to pitch in. There are likely also organizations in your community that are willing to assist you as well.
  • Stay healthy. Caregiving can be a stressful job. This added stress can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle, such as poor eating habits, lack of sleep, excess alcohol consumption and smoking. It’s important to stay healthy and curb these habits. Take the time to eat a well-balanced diet, exercise and get plenty of rest.

When Caregiving Affects Your Emotional Health

When the stress of caring for a loved one becomes too overwhelming, caregivers face a high risk of developing anxiety and depression. Look for the signs, which include irritability, restlessness, lack of energy, memory problems, headaches, changes in your sleeping patterns and crying.

If you notice these symptoms, take action immediately. Try exercising more or spending time focusing on your hobbies and interests. Join a support group or use yoga or meditation to relax. If you see no improvement, you may want to seek professional help. Remember: in order to be the best caregiver possible, you need to set a good example by taking care of yourself first.

For caregivers in Hinsdale, IL call 708-761-4909. Serving La Grange, Oakbrook, Oakbrook Terrace, Brookfield, Westchester, Downers Grove, Berwyn, River Forest, Oak Park, Hinsdale, Chicago and surrounding communities.

About Joan Cisneros LPN

Joan Cisneros is COO and Agency Manager at Private Home Care Services of Oakbrook Terrace, IL. Joan has over 25 years of professional healthcare experience, including Private Duty Home Care, nursing, insurance, case management, training, and operations. Her area of expertise is Alzheimer¹s care, which she knows from both a professional and personal perspective. Her solid capabilities are enhanced by her compassionate approach and her personal mission to help people maintain their independence by providing the best possible home care.
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