There are currently around 43.5 million caregivers providing unpaid care across the United States. Of these, approximately 34.2 million are caring for an adult age 50 or older.
If you are currently the primary caregiver for your mom, dad, or both parents, you know how emotionally and physically exhausting this role can be. Although the duties vary from caregiver to caregiver, the majority of those caring for a loved one experience challenges at work or at home — after all, being a caregiver takes an immense toll on everyone involved.
Whether you are new to caregiving or are searching for relief after years of care, this guide is for you.
Here’s How to Provide the Best Possible Care
As discussed, your current roles may differ from other caregivers. Depending on the condition of your parents’ in regards to their health and mobility, you may need to focus on some or all of the following:
- Personal and general health care — From grooming to bathing, dressing to toileting, you need to be practical in terms of what you can and cannot address. For example, if your mom needs help going to the bathroom and you need to go to work, it is imperative that you seek supportive services. This is especially important in situations in which your loved one has experienced a cognitive decline, as they may harm themselves when left unsupervised.
- Food preparation — Whether you need to purchase groceries for your parents or handle all meal prep, work closing with their physician to ensure a healthy, balanced diet. Depending on their health, this could benefit them substantially long-term (i.e. parents living with diabetes and or hypertension).
- Mobility assistance — If your parents’ are limited in terms of their ability to walk, this can be overwhelming, both physically and emotionally. This can be particularly challenging during times of transportation.
From emotional support to personal supervision, caregiving is often a full-time job. Unfortunately, many caregivers neglect themselves, causing them to burn out rapidly.
If you can relate, it’s imperative that you seek the assistance of a professional and licensed caregiver. They will help you make self-care a priority once again so that everyone is cared for in the best possible manner.
After all, Eleanor Brownn said it best, “Self-care isn’t selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
You no longer need to struggle, and you are most certainly not alone. Compassionate, affordable help is available.