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Friday, November 29, 2019

How To Avoid Burnout When Caring For Your Elderly Parents

Your parents have always cared for you, right?

Because of this, you might assume the responsibility of caring for your elderly parents lies with you. And to be honest, we have to say that yes, you should do what you can to care for your parents. To help them live their best life, you should make the effort to support them in whatever way you can.

However, you can't do everything. As loving and as caring as you are, you need to think about your own needs too. If you're forever focussing on their needs instead of your own, you are going to becomes stressed, tired, and suffer from burnout symptoms. At that point, you wouldn't be able to help your parents anyway.

So, here are some suggestions that could be useful to you.

#1: Help your parents find a hobby

Your parents need a hobby for two reasons.

Firstly, the busier they are, the less busy you will need to be, as your parents won't require your company on a too-regular basis. They might make new friends within the hobbies they take on too, so you won't have to be the sole source of company for your parents on a daily basis.

And secondly, the more active and engaged your parents are, the healthier they will be, as some hobbies can promote good physical and mental health. Consequently, you will have less need to worry about your parent's health needs.

So, take a look at these activities for elderly people, and suggest some of them to your parents. And research the activities that have been set up for seniors in the area in which they live, and encourage your parents to attend a few. Both you and they will benefit if they do.

#2: Don't fly solo

Don't take on the responsibility of caring for your parents alone. If you have siblings and other family members that are able to help, work with them on creating a rota so you can lighten your load. Sure, there will be some family members who are less than enthusiastic about the idea, but there is no harm in asking them to step up to the mark and do something to help.

And what about your parent's neighbors? Could they pop in from time to time to check on how your parents are doing? It's worth asking them, as you would have less need to pop round every day if they could be a support to you.

Remember too that there will be care groups set up in your area that are designed to help the elderly. There could be a 'meals on wheels' service available, for example, and there could be 'home help' agencies available to your parents. So, consider the various options that are open to you, and source as much help as you possibly can.

#3: Consider long-term care facilities

If your parents need the extra care and support, you could do as we suggested above, and contact a 'home help' agency. Typically, these will provide nursing, befriending, and practical support to your parents.

Alternatively, you could look at the care facilities available to your parents. If they are in need of full-time care, then a nursing home could be the best option. However, if your parents are still able to care for themselves to a degree, you might also consider a retirement community. Either way, the burden of care would be taken off your shoulders, so while you should still visit your parents, you could do so with the peace of mind that other people are caring for their specific needs.

Thanks for reading!
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