Caring for an aging family member can be challenging, particularly if you are a member of the “sandwich generation.” This term means that you are caring for parents or other aging relatives while still caring for your own children. Regardless of your situation, there are ways to be an even better caregiver for your family – and for yourself in 2015.
- Do Your Research – By learning as much as possible about your loved one’s health condition or conditions, you’re positioning yourself to feel more confident in your role as a caregiver and will be able to better serve as an effective advocate for him or her. This is especially important for caregivers of seniors who are living with advanced condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. If your loved one is living with a memory related condition, click here to learn more about dementia care in Harrisburg.
- Access Resources – Federal and state programs exist to assist those who care for aging family members. These services may include respite care, education and training, counseling and support groups, and help with modifying your home or the home of your aging loved one. Get more information from the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services and the Family Caregiver Support Program.
- Build a Support Network – Even if you are the primary caregiver for your loved one, that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Ask other family members for the help you need, whether it’s giving you a break, helping to prepare meals, or assisting with transportation to medical appointments. If you are the only relative, you can also seek help from church, civic groups in your community and local home care agencies in Harrisburg.
- Practice Self Care – It’s very difficult to effectively care for someone else if your own needs are going unmet. Take time each day to relax and unwind, whether with a hot bath, an exercise routine, or a few chapters of a good book. Also, sure to eat nutritious meals and get enough sleep. While many caregivers selflessly overlook their own needs to care for their loved ones, keep in mind that you can only deliver high quality care when you are at your best.
- Manage Your Feelings – It’s normal to have a range of emotions about your caregiving role, including frustration, anger, sadness, and grief. Talk about these feelings with a professional if you feel they are affecting your day to day life in a negative way. If you are unsure about meeting with a professional, there are also many support groups located in communities throughout Pennsylvania, as well as online support groups that host forums for specific caregiving topics. Talking to others about your situation and realizing that there are others going through the same emotions can help you feel better about your own situation.
Get the help and support you need and reach out to Home Care Assistance of Harrisburg today. We provide Harrisburg hourly care, respite care and live-in care, and our caregivers are available 24/7 to assist with activities ranging from meal preparation and light housekeeping to personal care and reliable transportation. Request more information or schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation by calling us today at (717) 540-4663.