Taking care of an elderly loved one, especially someone whose health is failing, is not a job for the weak-hearted. In most cases, this is a full-time job. You have to get up at the most unholy of hours if the person you’re caring for needs your assistance, even only for getting to the toilet. On top of that, you have to bathe and feed them and monitor their medicines.
Many old people become grumpier as they age further. It’s not always their fault; many of them are frustrated by their lack of independence and control over their own bodies. For those who have to care for them, however, this is extremely frustrating and stressful.
While caring for an elderly loved one, you have to remember to take care of yourself first. Here are some tips.
Don’t forget that it’s your life too
Difficult as it may sound, the truth is their life is not yours. Take care of your own health and sanity. See your doctor if you feel sick and always follow their orders, take your medicine at the right time. Don’t feel guilty whenever you leave your loved one under the care of another capable person if you have to take care of some personal business: doctor’s or dentist’s appointment, grocery shopping, exercise, part-time work, or even just a few hours of alone time. You need to stay healthy and happy, no matter how hard it may be in your situation.
Don’t do it on your own
Believe it or not, this will lead to more problems than answers. You need rest and personal time; you have limits too. Ask your other relatives to pitch in. If you can afford a nurse or just someone who needs the job, get someone to take care of your loved one with you. As far as the expenses are concerned, these situations are particularly draining.
See if your loved one is entitled to some benefits that will help you with the financial load. If they used to work in a high-risk, radiation-exposed job, for example, see if they qualify for energy employees occupational illness compensation, Nuclear Care Partners advised. Every penny you can get for the expenses is a big help.
Keep yourself happy by keeping them happy
Humor is a good thing. Simple gestures that show them you care are a good thing. So don’t forget to make light of every situation. Remind your loved one about the good times, the happy times. Don’t just care for them; talk to them and be thankful that you have this opportunity to care for someone who once cared for you.