If you care for an older parent or if someone close to you is in an assisted living community, you know that from time to time staying positive can be a challenge. At The Pavilion, we know how it is crucial for staff to keep their mental state healthy while also helping our residents be healthy. When caregivers ignore their own health, it can result in caregiver burnout. Luckily, the adverse side effects can be prevented, and there are ways to staying positive when caring for an older loved one.
It Starts with Your Thoughts
When you are taking care of an older loved one and you allow negative emotions to gain power, they can consume your thoughts. Instead of seeing the bad in situations, you can choose to focus on the brighter side of things. Your parent is alive and with family, and you have the opportunity to celebrate your heritage every day. If your parent is in an assisted living community for seniors, reflect on how they have specialized care 24/7 and are surrounded by like-minded individuals. When your family members are nearby, it can be a treasure.
Make Time for Fun
When the senior in your life is in an assisted living community, and you visit, you may just drop off dinner or take mom grocery shopping. To aid in staying positive, next time you visit mom or dad, plan a fun evening. This can work, whether they live with you or in a separate community. At times, we can get so wrapped up in making sure they are being cared for health wise that we forget about experiencing good times with them. So, make time for a fun, new puzzle or a nice dinner out.
Bringing Joy to Others
One of the most significant rewards we can have in this life is bringing joy to others. For assisted living communities, a thank you goes a long way. When it comes to the memory care units, when we receive a smile, we know we are doing well. When you help mom brush her teeth or make her breakfast, just keep in mind, how great those small tasks are to her. A great way to continually remind yourself of the importance of your work is to keep a Gratitude Journal. This is a book of where you write down positive ways your loved one impacted your life that day or things they did to make you smile, even if it is just a silly joke. No matter what you have done at work or for the world, it means nothing if you cannot bring joy and love to those close to you.
Talk About It
Doing good for others is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It can be a challenge not to let the negative emotions bring you down, but it is alright to acknowledge them in a safe setting. There are resources such as support groups that are specific to caregiving and dealing with a senior in assisted living that is close to you. Caregiver support groups are the ideal place to talk about the hardships, honest feelings, and praises that come along with caring for an older loved one.
Whether you are taking care of a loved one or you are close to a senior in assisted living or memory care community, it is essential to stay positive. You want to bring your loved one the right energy and keep personal mental health well. Follow these ways of staying positive, and if you need extra help or have questions, please contact us today!