If you are caring for an elderly loved one or plan to start working as a senior caregiver in the near future, it’s important to know more than just your day-to-day responsibilities and job duties. You should also have some idea of what to expect in terms of the most common problems senior caregivers face and what you can do to prepare for and handle them in a healthy way.
Many senior caregivers report personal health deterioration within a few months of starting family caregiving. This type of work is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. It also typically involves long hours or consistent caregiving 24 hours a day, every day. This takes a toll on the body and mind, and even the most resilient people will struggle before long.
It’s vital for caregivers to take time for themselves. Ask for help and coordinate a schedule that allows for at least one day off per week. If this is not feasible, try to develop a routine for the free time you do have. Take time to relax, engage in your hobbies, and reach out to others for support.
Many family caregivers must be alert 24 hours each day to ensure their senior loved one has the care and attention he or she needs. Oftentimes elderly loved ones will require repositioning or help going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Medical issues can arise at unexpected times. Ultimately, there is no shortage of possible issues that typically prevent a caregiver from getting a full night’s sleep.
Routine is important when you’re a family caregiver, especially when it comes to your personal wellbeing. If you can’t arrange for help during a typical day, coordinate some kind of caregiving schedule with another relative or a professional senior caregiver to give yourself a break and time to get adequate rest.
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Some family caregivers alter their work schedules to provide care for their elderly loved ones, and some leave their jobs altogether. These possibilities in addition to the cost of medical care for an elderly individual can lead to significant financial strain.
Eventually, the financial stress can start causing fractures in other areas of the caregiver’s life without appropriate support and preparation. Take time to explore your loved one’s eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, and other social support programs that may lighten your financial burden when it comes to providing care. It may make more financial sense to continue working and find professional help for your loved one.
Arista Home Care Solutions offers a wide range of services aimed at improving the lives of senior citizens requiring daily in-home care. If you need help with your responsibilities as a family caregiver or are interested in a free assessment for in-home care services, contact Arista Home Care Solutions today.