Dealing with a Cancer Diagnosis

3 Ways To Get Time For Yourself As A Primary Caregiver To An Elderly Loved One

by For Content

When an older relative gets to the point when they can no longer manage living on their own, it is common for a loving family member to step in and care for them around the clock. As kind of a gesture as this may be, taking care of someone else on a daily basis can be physically and emotionally tiring. In order to be a good caregiver, you have to take care of yourself. Not doing so can lead to hard feelings and frustration with the situation, which can be upsetting for the elderly individual you are caring for. Take a look at a few ways you can find time for yourself as a primary caregiver to an elderly loved one. 

Consider working with a short-term nursing care facility. 

Just because you are not yet ready to place your loved one in a nursing home does not mean that you cannot utilize some of their services. Many nursing homes offer respite care programs or short-term nursing care services for caregivers who need a little help. It is well worth considering taking your loved one to a short-term care facility a few times a week if you are feeling overwhelmed and need some time to yourself. In addition, some short-term care facilities offer in-home care programs if your loved one is not in good enough condition to constantly be brought out of the house. 

Check with local senior centers for activities your loved one may enjoy. 

Senior centers often host activities and events specifically for elderly individuals in the community. Some examples of activities include things like bingo nights, luncheons, and movie nights. While some of these places that host senior center events do not have caregivers on the premises, a lot of them do just in case a guest needs assistance. Find out what is available in your area that your loved one may enjoy and take advantage of these centers. Even a few hours on occasion can be time for you. 

Invite a friend or family member over to give you a short break. 

If your loved one has other friends and family members who would be available, talk to them to see if they can come in for short visits on occasion to relieve you of your duties and give you a bit of free time. Even just having another caregiver stop in for an hour once or twice a week can be a major help if you are caring for your family member all the time. If there are several friends and family members available, it may even be possible for you to get a little free time several times a week or month.