Being a family caregiver for your elderly parent means that you are going to take on a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities. Adding these, however, does not take away the other tasks that you already need to do in your regular life. If you are a member of the sandwich generation and taking care of your children as well as your parent, managing a career, running a household, and handling other tasks, this can be overwhelming. You do not need to do these all on your own. Seeking out help and creating a care network to support your efforts is an important part of ensuring that your loved one is getting everything that they need while also supporting your health, well-being, and quality of life. While there are many people you can include in this network, one of the most valuable sources of support that you can have is your spouse.
Some of the ways that your partner can be a valuable source of help in your caregiver experience include:
• Emotional support. The stress and emotional difficulty of a caregiver journey can be difficult to overcome and can even put you at risk of physical health challenges. Your spouse can be a tremendous source of emotional support for you, helping you to ease your stress, reassuring you, and helping you to feel more validated and loved, which can strengthen you and improve the quality of your care.
• Running errands. When you are a caregiver you can feel as though your to-do list never ends. You always seem to have another thing that you need to do either for your loved one or for the rest of your family. Your partner can help you to ease this stress by taking on some of these errands. Rather than both of you going to the grocery store, one for your family and one for your partner, your partner can go to the store for both. Perhaps they can pick up the carpool on certain days of the week or rearrange their routine to handle tasks such as bringing the dry cleaning. Every task that they are able to do means something that you do not need to do.
• Help around the house. Spending the day handling tasks for your senior and then coming home to a house that is messy or a table that needs dinner on it can just make you feel more stressed. Ask your partner to step up and take on more tasks around the house for you. Even if you prepare freezer meals and they just heat them up on late nights or they are responsible for washing the laundry and you will dry, knowing that your house is in order and that your tasks are fewer puts you at ease and improves your care efforts
Being a family caregiver for your aging loved one does not mean that you have to take on all of the responsibilities for your senior completely by yourself. Starting elder care for your loved one can be an exceptional way to ensure that any care gaps that might exist in your care routine are filled and that you are able to focus on other elements of your life while still feeling confident that your aging parent is getting everything that they need to stay healthy, happy, and comfortable as they age in place. With this type of arrangement, you are able to give your parent all of the care that you are able to, and rely on the elderly home care services provider to manage other tasks that you are unable to do because of your own limitations, difficulties, or schedule. This supports a close relationship, reduces the risk of caregiver stress, and helps your parent to live a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, and fulfilled as possible throughout their later years.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Leesburg, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.