If you have recently become a caregiver for a family member, you have noticed that your life is beginning to change. New responsibilities, frequent unavailability for commitments you previously could manage and additional stress are just the start of what is to come. Although, for most caregivers, this is a labor of love that is willingly given to a family member, it does not mean that there are not adjustments in the near future.
Your responsibilities can differ greatly depending on the age groups you care for. For example, you may be a parent of minor children who is now taking care of your parent in your home. By contrast, you could be a parent of older children who now has the responsibility of caring for your mother and your spouse. As you well know, different age groups will require different types of care.
How do you handle this new schedule? What steps will you take to manage your new responsibilities? Where will you find support and help when you need it? We know these are just a few of the questions you may have right now. Let us share essential tips you need to help you manage your new caregiver schedule.
1. Try a meal delivery service to make meals a bit easier. You may not have as much time to go to the grocery store and come up with different meals each night. Meal delivery subscriptions like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh are a great option! Each day you will receive a box of perfectly measured ingredients and instructions to create delicious and healthy meals quickly.
2. If calendars are overwhelming, use post-it notes throughout the house. While calendars are helpful to remind you of the million things you need to do within the next month, they are not great for managing your daily stress. If your calendar is overwhelming you, take a post-it note and write a list of what you have to do that day. You can organize it either in order of priority or chronological order. This way, you can focus on getting through each day rather than stressing over the busy days you will have later this month.
3. Know now that you can’t do this alone and call in reinforcements. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, that remains true – especially when you are taking care of multiple people. Join a carpool. Ask a neighbor to watch your children while you take your parent or spouse to a doctor appointment. Use a caregiver service yourself to help you when you have two responsibilities that occur at the same time.
4. Do not overlook your mental health and wellbeing. You cannot give proper care to multiple ages if you do not take care of yourself. Take a few minutes each day to care for you. While it may feel selfish, it is not. Whether it’s a bubble bath, yoga class, a few extra chapters in a book or just sitting down in silence, find something that can stabilize your mental health and reinvigorate you.
Your new caregiver lifestyle may be overwhelming. It may be scary. It may be sad. Try to remain positive, take time for yourself and remind yourself how important family is. You are strong, courageous and resilient! For more information, contact us today.