There are roughly 53 million family caregivers in the US, most of which care for aging-in-place friends and relatives. If your senior loved one lives in Bedford, you may be one of them. And although being a caregiver is highly gratifying, it can also be physically and emotionally demanding.
As a result, many caregivers experience stress, fatigue, and burnout that can prevent them from delivering quality care that helps maintain their loved ones’ independence. If you are a family caregiver, what follows are ways to practice self-care so you can continue to provide your seniors with the nurturing they deserve.
Senior Care Tips for Family Caregivers in Bedford
For starters, using these tips will help make your caregiving journey more manageable:
Take Care of Yourself
As a family caregiver, it’s easy to neglect your own needs while focusing on those of aging or disabled loved ones. However, self-care is essential to providing a high level of care. Be sure to take breaks when feeling run down, eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.
Caregiving can involve a lot of paperwork, appointments, social activities, and medication schedules. Keeping everything organized and prioritizing tasks can help reduce stress and make things more manageable. Use a calendar to keep track of appointments and a medication organizer to manage your loved one’s meds.
Communication is key when it comes to caregiving, so be sure to communicate openly, honestly, and continually with your senior, other family members, and healthcare professionals. Be clear and concise when discussing your loved one’s care plan so everyone will be on the same page.
No matter how hard you try, your loved one’s condition will eventually worsen. It’s important as their caregiver to stay positive while focusing on the good things in life. Celebrate small victories along the way, like getting Mom to eat everything on her dinner plate. In the end, a positive attitude can go a long way in helping you and your loved one navigate days when nothing else seems to be going right.
Because caregiving can be a 24/7 job, you must take occasional breaks to avoid burnout. Whether it’s taking a walk, reading a book, enjoying a spa day, or binge-watching your favorite TV shows, taking breaks can help you recharge and be a better caregiver.
Although caring for an elderly loved one can sometimes be frustrating, you must learn to be patient. Remember that your senior is going through a difficult time and may need extra support and understanding.
What Resources Are There for Family Caregivers in Bedford?
There are also many caregiving resources you can take advantage of, including the following:
Technology can be a great resource for family caregivers. Numerous apps and tools are now available that can help you keep track of medications, appointments, and caregiving tasks. Another idea is using video conferencing to stay connected with your senior, healthcare professionals, and other care team members.
Respite care is another essential caregiving resource for family caregivers. Respite care provides temporary relief for caregivers, allowing them to take a break and recharge. Sources of respite care include professional home care, adult daycare centers, and respite care facilities. Many insurance plans and programs, including Medicaid, offer respite care benefits.
Education and Training
As yet another valuable resource for family caregivers, many organizations offer classes and workshops on caregiving topics such as managing medications, bathing and dressing, and communicating with healthcare professionals. These classes can help caregivers feel more confident in their caregiving role by teaching valuable skills and knowledge.
The average family caregiver incurs hefty out-of-pocket costs while caring for loved ones. Thankfully, financial resources are also available for family caregivers. Many organizations offer financial assistance programs for caregivers, including scholarships, grants, and low-interest loans. Caregivers can also protect their retirement nest eggs by seeking financial advice from trained professionals like financial planners and accountants.
How Can I Build a Caregiving Support Network?
It is also essential as a family caregiver to have a support network in place so you can navigate the daily challenges that come with caring for a senior at home. Here’s how to build a caregiving support network so you can stay refreshed and honor your loved one’s wishes:
Identify Your Needs
First, make a list of tasks you need help with, such as transportation, meal preparation, or running errands. Once you have identified your needs, think about who can help you, like friends, relatives, and community volunteers.
Contact Those on Your List
Family and friends are often the first people we turn to for help. Based on their time and talents, reach out to loved ones on your list and tell them what you need. Be specific about the tasks you need help with and how much time each will take. While doing so, communicate clearly to avoid misunderstandings.
Utilize Community Resources
Many communities offer resources for family caregivers, including respite care, meal delivery, and transportation services. You can learn about senior care resources in your community by contacting your local Area Agency on Aging.
Join a Support Group
Support groups can be an excellent resource for family caregivers, as they provide a safe space to share your experiences and connect with others who understand what you are going through. You can locate support groups online or in your community.
Hire a Professional Caregiver
If you need help with tasks that require advanced training, like dementia or Alzheimer’s care, consider hiring a professional caregiver from a reputable home care provider. A professional in-home caregiver can provide you with the expertise and support you need while ensuring your loved one receives the quality care they deserve.
Dignified In-Home Senior Care for Families in Bedford
When searching for a reliable home care company, look no further than AmeriCare Plus in Bedford. We are a fully licensed and insured provider with highly trained professionals who are experts at delivering the nurturing your loved one deserves. While serving as an extended family in your senior’s home, our compassionate caregivers can perform various duties, including Companion Care, Dementia Care, Life Coordinated, Live-In Care24 hrs, Personal Care, Personal Home Helper, Post-Operative Care, Respite Care, and Veteran Services.
While assisting clients in Lynchburg, Forest, Moneta, Huddleston, Amherst, and Madison Heights, our agency’s focus is maintaining your loved one’s quality of life, along with their dignity, self-esteem, and independence. For your added convenience, all our in-home services can be individually personalized into an affordable package when and where you need them! Please visit AmeriCare Plus online now to learn more about us or schedule a FREE initial consultation for a senior in our service area.