It’s been going on for quite some time. You’ve noticed your mother having difficulty with certain things around the house. Ever since your father passed away several years ago, you stopped over to check in on her from time to time. You helped her clean, helped her get the air-conditioning unit in the bedroom, and more.
Now, though, you’re worried she needs more and more assistance.
Before you become a full-time family caregiver, you need to think ahead. You need to realize just how much stress and anxiety you may experience. Most people who ultimately take care of aging family members, whether it’s a parent, spouse, or someone else, feel a tremendous amount of stress and pressure on their time, their lives, and other relationships.
Understand your limitations.
When you begin thinking ahead, be realistic. You may want to be there for your mother as much as you can, but if you work a full-time job, have other responsibilities throughout the day, and only have a few minutes some days during the week, you can’t possibly go over, help her prepare a meal from scratch, help her do the laundry, do some light cleaning, and more every single day.
You need to let her know what your limits are.
Before you set out to be a family caregiver, sit down and talk to your mother. Explain your schedule, the limits on your time, and that if she needs more support and care, you won’t be able to provide it.
If you don’t have this conversation, you will more likely begin giving up other things in your life that you view as not being nearly as important. Spending time with your friends, exercising, eating healthy, and more are all essential to not just good mental health, but physical health as well.
The minute you start giving up these things, that’s a problem.
When you begin giving up time with friends, work hours, time with your spouse, exercise, eating healthy, and more, that’s going to be a problem. You will find your health declining, you may have more difficulty sleeping throughout the night, and you might begin experiencing increased health issues or other risk factors.
Just make sure you think clearly about what life can and likely will be like as a family caregiver. When you do, you will realize that having support, especially in the form of a home care aide, can be the best solution moving forward.
Angel Alliance Caregivers of Galloway, NJ is dedicated to helping seniors maintain full, independent lives where they most desire to live: in the comfort of their own homes. Call us at (609) 965-0028.
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