Caregiving Rules: How to Stay on Top of Your Game

How to Stay on Top of Your Game - AmeriBest Home Care

Whether you’ve recently started caregiving for a loved one or you’ve been doing it for a while, here are 4 rules that can really make or break your time as a caregiver.

Rule #1: Accept Help

This is the first rule because it’s the most important. When you’re caregiving, you often want to do everything by yourself. Not because you don’t trust others, but because you think it’s your duty. And you think it’s your responsibility to do it all on your own.

This is the biggest trap that caregivers fall into. And they’ll even run themselves ragged thinking they just need to push themselves a little more. But this is not a sustainable way of life. And, it certainly is not a sustainable way of caregiving. Eventually, both you and your loved one will feel the consequences of your pushing yourself too hard.

So, you need to understand, you don’t have to do everything by yourself.
And, it’s okay to accept help.

If someone is willing to offer you an extra hand- take it. The same way you want to help your loved senior, others want to help you. You wouldn’t want your senior to reject your help, so don’t reject others’ help to you.

Rule #2: Stay Organized

When you’ve finally decided to accept help from others, it can get a little hectic remembering who is doing what for your senior.

And when things are hectic, it makes others less likely to continue to give their support. When someone offers help, they want to actually be able to help or they’ll come away feeling frustrated. They don’t want to show up, only to find your senior being helped by two other friends as well, because of your overbooked.

So, you’ve got to keep a good schedule. Don’t just make lists in your head, because you’re likely to forget those. Instead, have a physical (or digital) calendar, and write everything down. Who, what, where, and when.

Rule #3: Take Care of Yourself

While you’re scheduling your senior’s healthcare appointments, make sure to schedule your own as well. Whether it be mental or physical.

As the popular saying goes, you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first.
Because you simply can’t give someone good care if you don’t have the energy to do so.

Take care of yourself.
Keep yourself healthy and strong, even if that means taking some time off for yourself.

Rule #4: Consider Your Options

In addition to getting help from friends and family, you can also get help from professionals.

It doesn’t have to be all the time, but having a professional caregiver come to your home and take care of things every now and then is a huge stress reliever. Even just knowing that you have a professional to rely on, is comforting.

This way, when you need to take time for yourself, or simply can’t take off from work for another doctor appointment, you can pay a professional caregiver to do the work for you.

At-Risk Retirement Funds: Caregiving Gone Wrong

At-Risk Retirement Funds - AmeriBest Home Care

We all want to help our loved ones.
To give them care and support when they need it. To help them live their best and happiest lives.

We don’t do it for the money, or for the reward. We do it because we want to give them the same kindness they gave us for all our lives.

And yet, the question begs to be asked: to what extent?
To what extent do we sacrifice our own lives to help those around us? When and how much should we give to others when it means taking away from ourselves?

Present and Future Consequences

When people think of the stress of caregiving, they often think about the present time. That caregiving only affects them in the moment, and they have the rest of their lives to live as they want.

Unfortunately, that’s not so.

Recent studies have shown that those who caregive for free (i.e. family members who act as caregivers for loved ones) are more likely to have smaller retirement savings.

And, even more so for single women who are unpaid caregivers.
Black woman headache and sleeping

Now, you may not think this is such a big deal. That’s it’s only a minor setback. But the truth is, that having a good savings for retirement is so important, and really effects the entirety of your life- present and future. Because, the pace at which you are able to save money now, affects when you can stop working and begin your retired years later.

If you save slower, you’ll have to work for longer.
If you save faster, you’ll get to work for less.

And this matters, because when you go into retirement, you’re not just doing it so you can laze away the rest of your days. Retirement years are so that you can live life to its fullest. So that you have time to be with your loved ones. So that you can see the world, do the things you’ve always wanted, and bond with those around you.

So, giving up your time now for caregiving means giving up your years now and in the future.

A Better Alternative – At-home care

Obviously, you don’t want to just leave your loved ones to fend for themselves.
But, you also can’t keep living a life you resent.

Luckily, there’s an alternative. A happy medium that comes in the form of at-home care.

When you hire a professional caregiver, you’re paying a professional aid to come to your home and give your loved ones what they need- emotionally, physically, and medically. You’re not leaving your loved ones or giving up on them. You’re finding another way to help them. A way that also gives you a chance to live your own life.

And though you may not want to admit it, a professional caregiver may be the better help for your loved one. Because, a professional will not only know what your senior needs, but will also be able to do something about those needs.

Consider a better life for you and your loved senior with a professional caregiver.