Taking care of an aging senior is not always easy. It’s already a learning curve for mothers who take care of their children during the newborn and toddler stages. However, many of the tasks are similar with the exception of the difference in age. It also comes with a range of completely different emotions.
As the caretaker, you have a golden opportunity to practice patience. Once you learn how to do certain tasks as a child (going to the bathroom alone, using the stairs, etc.), they become second nature. Once you begin to age or get sick, many tasks that were once easy gradually become difficult. There will be times when you’re not in the mood or the person in need of caregiving has a bad attitude. In those times, try to allow patience to get the best of you. Take a deep breath and learn to grin and bear it.
Because tasks can take a long time to complete and the daily agenda can often be unpredictable, it’s also wise to stay flexible. Do not put anyone under strict time constraints because anything can happen at any time. This doesn’t mean a caretaker can’t have a life, it just takes the pressure off when there are outstanding commitments.
Don’t be afraid to lean on a support system of family, friends and supporters. When people ask if there’s anything they can do, say yes and delegate some of the chores to them. If someone is happy to clean or pay for a cleaning service to clean your home, let them. If another person wants to cook some meals and bring them over, let them. Don’t allow pride to get in the way of experiencing true support from others.
Many reports have shown that people who are caregivers end up losing control of their own lives while taking care of others. It is easy to forget yourself in the process. As difficult as it may be, make sure you make self-care a priority in your life. When you do this, you also remind yourself that you matter. Whether you get a Mani/Pedi, a trip to the spa, consistent exercise or some quiet time at the bookstore, make sure that you take care of your own well-being too.
Respect the person’s need for privacy or time alone. As a caregiver, it’s good for you to be diligent regarding your job. However, don’t hover.
Make financial plans and arrangements for whatever potential situation could arise. It is wise to make sure the insurance policies are good and the aging senior has full coverage. Additionally, it is helpful to sit down and speak with a Salt Lake SSDI attorney regarding the social security benefits.
Caretaking is serious work. It requires so much of a person. While it is a joy to take care of someone in their time of need, make sure to remember these tips for the best results.