Self-care is essential to all of us, but it can be especially important for family caregivers. When we focus on providing care to a parent or family member, taking care of our own needs is often ignored, or the thought of focusing on ourselves seems selfish. In reality, when you take care of yourself, your loved one will reap the benefits.
Ignoring or forgetting to take care of your own needs can lead to caregiver burnout and a number of other health concerns. When you are not at your best, you cannot provide quality care to someone else.
The third Friday in February is “National Caregivers Day,” and to celebrate The Pavilion Senior Living is sharing essential tips to help family caregivers practice self-care.
Make Yourself and Your Health a Priority
Many caregivers often ignore warning signs about their health and neglect visiting a doctor to get these concerns taken care of. While you may think that prioritizing your health is selfish, think about what would happen if your health was to inhibit your ability to take care of your parent or family member. Prioritize your health; both you and your loved one will benefit.
Find & Use Tools That Make Responsibilities Easier
Work smarter, not harder. Why not make your caregiving duties easier? There are a number of tools that can help shoulder the load of your daily responsibilities.
Whether you use a gait belt to reduce the strain on your body when/if you have to lift your family member or use an app that helps keep you organized, these tools can help ease your daily caregiving duties.
Read our blog, “5 Apps to Help Manage the Responsibilities of a Family Caregiver,” to learn more about these free digital tools.
Make Time for Yourself
You will never feel like you have extra time to take a break from your caregiving responsibilities to tend to your own needs, which can lead to caregiver burnout. In some cases, caring for a parent or family member can be a full-time, around-the-clock job, but you also have other relationships, responsibilities, and passions. Carve out a block of time to do something that you enjoy. It does not have to be long, but this time needs to be just for you to refresh and recharge.
Create Healthy Habits
It only takes 21 days to create a habit and an additional 90 days for it to become a part of your lifestyle. This being said, once you have created a habit, it helps you to keep it a priority. So why not make healthy habits?
Once you have established healthy habits, it will be easier to maintain your health and overall wellness because it is already a significant part of your routine.
Build a Support System
Even though you may like to think you can do it all alone, you do not have to and will need help from time to time. Practice self-care and avoid caregiver burnout by allowing others to share the caregiving responsibilities with you.
This support system could be other family members or even a professional caregiver who helps out once a week or a few times a month. Asking members of your support team to help out with something as simple as preparing a meal can grant you the time you need to take a well-deserved break.
Utilize Respite Care
When you utilize respite care services, you can take care of your health and wellness without having to worry about the well-being of your parent or family member. This type of care allows you to have peace of mind knowing that your loved one is receiving the care they need while you handle other responsibilities.
At The Pavilion Senior Living, we offer respite care on an as-needed basis. This short-term stay program is a convenient option for planned or unforeseen circumstances such as a family vacation, work trip, or recovery from an illness. We refer to this program as The Pavilion Senior Living Guestpitality Program, and it is a great way to try out what life is like in one of our communities.
To learn more about our communities and respite care services, we encourage you to contact a member of The Pavilion Senior Living team or visit our website.