Stuck at home these days, many of us are finding ourselves having to take on new roles that we would otherwise pay someone else to fill. And this can be a little scary to do without positive guidance.
If you’ve suddenly found yourself having to act as a family caregiver, here are 6 tips and tricks of the trade.
Write things down.
When you’re caring for someone else, it’s important to stay organized. It’s all too easy to forget someone else’s schedule, so make things simple for yourself and write things down.
If you prefer typing that’s cool too.
Just having a mapped-out list of what needs to be done and when can easily knock down the stress levels a few notches.
Automate as much as possible.
Another easy way to keep track of everything is to set up daily reminders. There are a ton of apps out there that can help with medication scheduling, appointment tracking, as well as just general to-do list entries.
These apps will not only help remind you of what needs to be done, but also give you the extra push to get up and get going.
Don’t be afraid to ask for outside help.
One of the biggest mistakes new caregivers make is thinking that they have to take care of everything themselves.
But the truth is, there are plenty of people able and willing to help. If you’re getting overwhelmed, stressed, or just want some guidance- don’t be afraid to ask for outside help.
Call up friends, family, or professional home care aides. And, don’t let yourself get to a mental breaking point before you do so.
Asking for help demonstrates responsibility and caring.
Schedule family time.
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the work of caregiving, that you start to ignore the fun of it.
Caregiving is a remarkable task that lets you care, bond, and connect with your senior. If you’re not enjoying the work you do, you’re missing out on the core of caregiving.
To rekindle the spark, schedule some fun family time. This could be watching some TV together in the evening, building a project together in the afternoons, or even just bonding over some old photos in the basement. The main idea is to find something you both enjoy and set aside quality time for each other.
Watch your health.
You’ve probably heard this before, but you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.
Letting yourself get run down and weary is no way to treat yourself as a caregiver. If you want to give your senior the best care possible, then you have to be up for the challenge and in good spirits. And, in order to feel that way, you have to take care of your own health too.
This means, taking breaks when you need them, giving yourself some alone time to refresh, watching your diet and fitness, and being overall kind to yourself.
Which leads us to our last tip…
Speak to yourself with compassion.
If you missed something on your to-do list, or you just didn’t have time to get something done- don’t stress. The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up over something you’re only just getting the hang of. You wouldn’t do that to others, so don’t do that to yourself.
Instead, look at where you went wrong with a non-judgmental perspective. Understand what led you to make that mistake and learn from it. Then move on and give yourself some compassion.
You’re doing the best you can.