When you're the primary caregiver for an aging parent or another family member incapable of caring for themselves, you probably find yourself putting your own needs aside to meet theirs. However, our Brazos County elder lawyers want you to be at your best to provide the care and assistance necessary for your loved one to remain happy, healthy, and safe.
Being a caregiver doesn't mean you must spend all of your time catering to someone else. You have to take time for yourself to do things that make you happy and ensure you're in good health.
Below are five tips to help you practice self-care when you're responsible for the care of an older or disabled adult.
Visit Your Doctor
Typically, caring for a senior or a person with disabilities means scheduling their doctors' appointments and driving them to and from the facilities. However, you also need to keep your health in check. That means you should attend appointments with your own medical providers regularly.
You might struggle to find the time to see your physician when you're juggling your job, kids, dependent parent, and other responsibilities. However, your physical and mental health should be a priority in your life. Set aside the time you need to take care of yourself, so you're able to continue to provide for your loved one.
Interact with Family and Friends
Taking care of someone with a physical disability or cognitive illness can seem like a time-consuming responsibility. You might feel overwhelmed and unable to get anything else done during the day.
It's crucial to make time for your family and friends. Even if you can only carve out an hour for dinner or a few minutes in the morning to meet someone for coffee, you should do it. Socializing will keep you well balanced and ensure you're in a good mental state to be an effective caregiver.
Allow Yourself to Feel Bad
Assuming the caregiver role presents a range of challenges. The stress could get to you, causing you to snap at your relative or break down and cry. It's okay to feel bad about the responsibility you've taken on.
You shouldn't feel guilty about feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or sad. Allow yourself time to feel what you feel and express your emotions to others.
You should accept help if someone offers it. Whether your neighbor offers to drive your loved one to the doctor or a relative wants to relieve you of your caregiver duties for a few hours so you can enjoy yourself, allow people to help.
There's nothing wrong with taking some time for yourself. The people in your life care about you and want to provide the support you need whenever possible. Also, you should never be afraid to ask someone for assistance if you begin to feel like you're drowning and need a helping hand.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Whether you join a support group, meet with a therapist, or talk to your friends, it's critical to maintain your mental health. Being a caregiver can take a lot out of you emotionally. If you don't seek support, you could develop depression, anxiety, or another mental illness.
Do not hesitate to contact an elder lawyer for legal guidance during this difficult scenario. Although you might want to take in your loved one and provide them with the care they need, it's vital to take care of yourself while being the caregiver. You should have trusted and knowledgeable people around you to help you navigate the stressful and overwhelming process. Our Brazos County elder lawyers are also here to help you work through the challenges that you are facing. To schedule an appointment at our College Station law firm, call 979-703-7014.