The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to evaluate our lives, address challenges and move forward with positivity. We’ve put together a collection of family caregiver New Year’s resolutions just for you.
Avoiding Caregiver Burnout and Importance of Caregiver Mental Health
Being a family caregiver for a family member is both a rewarding and challenging role. It can be overwhelming and place a strain on your most valued relationships.
Resolution 1: Grow your support circle.
Create a support team of family, friends and/or local resources, like FirstLight Home Care, to help you be the best family caregiver you can be by providing you with a family caregiver support program. Delegate specific tasks like providing companionship, managing finances, running errands or helping with household chores.
Resolution 2: Block out break times for yourself.
Even if you’re taking mini breaks throughout the day, do something simple and positive to help reduce the stress of being a family caregiver for a family member.
- Conduct a two-minute meditation.
- Take a minute or two to stretch and enjoy a quiet moment.
- Connect with family and friends with a phone call.
Resolution 3: Connect with the loved one in your care.
Find fun activities you can do together to make family caregiving feel like less of a chore and more of a time to grow your relationship. Doing a puzzle, going to the movies, playing a board game or taking a stroll will create a special time that you both can enjoy.
Resolution 4: Schedule time off weekly.
Family caregiver burnout is real. Find a family member, friend, volunteer or professional caregiver to help manage companion care and other personal care responsibilities for your loved one—even if just for a couple of hours a week—so you can take time for yourself.
Resolution 5: Don’t manage the symptoms, help improve them.
Work with your loved one to lower blood pressure, get control of glucose levels, eat right, stop smoking and get more exercise. Seniors who are physically healthy tend to be happier, more energetic and more positive overall.
Tips For Success In Being A Great Family Caregiver
Remember that everyone is an individual.
Many family caregivers for a family member don’t always relate to the person they’re caring for. Find out what motivates them as an individual and incorporate those things into your caregiving.
Include your loved one in tasks.
Another way to help a loved one feel less overwhelmed and anxious is by including them in everyday tasks. For example, if your loved one resists leaving the house, consider going on a shopping trip where they help look for items on the list—like a scavenger hunt. Involvement may be an effective way to distract your loved one from fear or anxiety.
Do things in steps.
Breaking tasks into multiple steps can be a good way to make them less overwhelming and easier to accomplish.
Listen to their stories.
No matter how many times you’ve heard them, listen as if it were the first time. Listening creates trust. And really hearing what your loved one is telling you can help you better understand what’s meaningful for them.
Don’t take it personally.
One of the most difficult things for many family caregivers is dealing with the emotions they feel about their loved one’s condition or behavior. It’s not unusual for age or sickness to cause dramatic shifts in memory and even mood, and this can be hard on the caregiver.
FirstLight Home Care – Your Caregiving Resource.
Being a family caregiver for a family member can be a beautiful and rewarding experience. Know that you are making a profound difference in your loved one’s life, that there are resources out there to help you and most importantly, that you’re not alone.
One of the most significant things a family caregiver can build is a network of support. At FirstLight, we want to be there to help you with a family caregiver support program. Whether it’s help providing non-medical care for your loved one or Respite Care while you take a much-needed break, we’re here for you. Find a location near you today.