You might think that overwhelm as a caregiver is normal and just something you need to accept. That doesn’t have to be the case.
Focus on What Your Senior Needs
Whether you’ve come to caregiving slowly over a period of years or suddenly as a result of a health issue, your senior has some really specific needs. It’s important to determine what those needs are and to do what you can to meet them. This means learning as much as you can about your senior’s health issues and what it takes to give her what she needs.
Try to Anticipate Needs
In many cases, you can anticipate what your elderly family member is going to need from you. For instance, if she’s not able to cook and clean, your senior needs you to either take over those tasks or find someone who can do so. If you can learn to figure out these needs in advance you can solve the problem before it’s really a problem, and that’s a lot better than feeling blindsided by them.
Ask for Help from Family Members
If your elderly family member has other family members in the area, ask them for some help with certain tasks. Some family members aren’t going to be able to help as much as you’d like them to help, but that’s okay. You can still use other options to get the help you need and you might just get more help than you expect from family members.
Hire Extra Help Before You Need It
Speaking of extra help, it’s best to seek it out before you really need it. This might mean that you start out asking your family members for help, but it can also mean hiring elderly care providers now. That way your senior can meet them and get to know them and you’re not at a stage where you’re too overwhelmed to think straight.
Establish Your Own Support Network
Don’t forget about yourself. You might not realize it, but you have a lot of thoughts and feelings rolling around that you’re not necessarily familiar with. Joining a support group and meeting other caregivers offers you a chance to talk to people who have experienced a lot of what you’ve experienced. You might also want to reach out to friends and family who understand what you’re dealing with, too.
Every once in a while you’re going to feel more overwhelmed than you will at other times. This is normal, but you can use these tips to help reduce the frequency of the overwhelm you encounter. Caregiving should be a positive experience that you’re able to share with your elderly family member, so do what you can to maintain that positivity.