It is important for you, a caregiver of the elderly, to remember to care for yourself too. Often times a caregiver for the elderly put their lives on hold to care for their parents. It becomes such a stress on you that you should remember to take time for your own emotional needs. You have your own life to lead and you have taken on the responsibility to care for your elder.
The stress from care giving can make you ill or depressed. You want to take time for yourself so you can rejuvenate yourself, restore your energy, and get balance back in your life.
At least monthly (weekly if possible) go out for a movie and/or dinner. You can even take some sometime for a quick overnight vacation. I know it is very hard to say that you need a break and you feel that you can’t leave your elder, but for you to take great care of your elder; you must care for yourself too.
There are a great number of resources available to you for taking a few hours or a day or two off. Here are a few resources (do a Google search in your area for these resources):
Most of the above listed charge some sort of fee, and some can be paid by Medicare (your elder must qualify under their guidelines).
I know in these days and times that money is tight, and especially if you are using your own money to supplement your elder’s care, but remember, you can’t do your elder any good if you don’t care for yourself.
Try asking your friends to come over and help out for a night so you can run and get some dinner many will certainly help for a few hours. You can always get them a “little gift” to show your appreciation. My husband would do just about anything for a big bar of chocolate or a bottle of wine.
Remember you need care too! You are important and you have important work to do with your elder.
Here is a video about dealing with the tough decisions you have to make as an elder care giver.
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