Fall is rolling in and you know what that means – school shopping, learning new things, and jam-packed schedules! While beginning a new school year is certainly exciting, it can also be a challenging time for senior caregivers. We’ve come up with some tips to help family caregivers make a plan to prevent burnout.
Children, no matter how old they are, can supply much-needed support for senior family members during the summer. Older kids might help with chores such as mowing the lawn or walking the dog, while younger children can engage grandparents in different ways, providing socialization and entertainment. Yes, whether or not you realize it, baking cookies with grandma is more than just a fun afternoon; it’s an engaging activity that makes them feel productive and connected.
When school begins, however, not only does that extra support go away, you’re also left juggling everything on your own – school activities, work obligations, and caring for your elderly parents.
Nearly 23% of adults in the U.S. provided regular care for a senior within the last 30 days. That’s over 75 million people, so you are not alone.
With a little help and a lot of planning, you can balance a successful caregiving schedule with your other duties.
Plan and Prioritize
It may seem obvious, but planning is key to keeping your sanity. But making a to-do list is just the beginning. Here are our top tips for caregivers to make a plan to prevent burnout that leaves a little breathing room.
Prioritize Need Over Want
Quite simply, some things need to be done – medical appointments, ensuring medicines are taken on time, after school activities for the kids. Unfortunately, there are times when personal tasks like hair appointments, social engagements, or even cleaning may take a backseat to other responsibilities. Everything on your to-do list may not get done, and that’s okay! This is why prioritizing is so important. Know what absolutely needs to be done and commit to at least completing these tasks.
Let (Some of) It Go
It takes a village! While it’s true that not everything on your list may get done, you have a better chance at success if you learn to relinquish a bit of control. If it’s financially feasible, bringing in service providers helps to lessen the weight and overwhelm caregiving can bring.
Online platforms have made it possible to hire help for just about anything you can imagine. Curious about what you can outsource?
- Lawn Care
- Grocery Shopping
- Meal Kit Delivery
- Home Maintenance
- General Errands
Enlist the Help of Your Siblings
No siblings? No problem! Rally cousins, aunts and uncles, adult children, and even neighbors to form a support group. Even if you’re able to hire help to come in and take care of household chores and other tasks, your support circle provides invaluable support.
You don’t have to coordinate everything alone. When you sit down for your assessment, RetireEase works with you to find out what you already do as the primary caregiver and helps to give you a realistic expectation of what you might need to delegate to avoid burnout.
Make Time for You
Simple but not always easy. You know the cliché but very true aphorism, you have to put your oxygen mask on before you can help others. This rings true even in everyday caregiving. Whether you make time to take a 15-minute walk at lunch or block out an evening for a monthly book club, it’s important to carve out time in the schedule to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
Often we’re not aware of just how much time goes into everything we do. When you realize family caregivers spend up to 24.4 hours per week providing care, you begin to take into account just how much the responsibility can weigh on you. We know you’re happy to care for and spend time with your senior parent or family member. However, if you neglect yourself in the process, you won’t be able to give them your full presence and energy when it is time to be there.
Caring for your senior family member is a rich and rewarding experience, but it doesn’t come without compromises. With a strong support system and plan in place, you can create and maintain a manageable caregiving schedule that’s beneficial for everyone involved.
If you need help managing your schedule, it’s time to reach out to RetireEASE. In addition to our amazing home care staff, we provide custom caregivers plan that prevent burnout where the schedule, tasks, and number of visits per week are designed around your loved one.
As the premier senior caregiver service in Columbia, SC, our caregivers are passionate about integrated care. We love helping older people continue to live full, active lives. You can learn more about our services here
If you’re looking for high-quality, personalized senior home care in the greater Columbia, SC area, we’d love to talk. You can contact us here