The Family Caregiver Alliance, a national nonprofit dedicated to provide resources for home-based caregivers, urges those who are looking after aging relatives to make themselves a priority, too.
According to the FCA, those between the ages of 66 and 96 who are providing 24/7 live-in home care to a spouse are 63 percent more likely to die than their counterparts who are not caregivers. Common issues such as lack of sleep, worrying, putting off their own medical care, and failing to maintain a healthy diet all play a role in the earlier mortality rate.
With the New Year approaching, now is the time for all caregivers to consider a few ways to ensure they can continue to help the person in their lives who depend upon them the most.
The FCA offers several tips for accomplishing this goal, chief among them being a willingness to consider and eliminate the obstacles that some caregivers create for themselves, like acting on the belief that they are solely responsible for their loved one’s health. Moving away from this school of thought and asking for help once in a while can make a big difference. Click here for more information about professional home care services in the Philadelphia area which can be used for quality senior care and respite.
Also, make it a point to identify signs of stress like anxiousness or poor sleep patterns. Recognize the reason for the stress, which could be anything from a recent argument to simply feeling overwhelmed, and take steps to make changes to improve the situation before it gets to be too much to handle.
Reaching out to others who are in similar situations can also be beneficial because it reminds a caregiver that they are not alone and that there are many who understand their struggles. There are likely many support groups in your area, some of which may even cater to the specific needs of certain caregivers, such as dementia caregivers or caregivers for elderly parents. If you’re not sure about joining a support group, there are also many forums online that discuss a wide range of caregiving topics, and provide advice and support.
After all, a caregiver cannot adequately complete the tasks before them unless they are in good physical and mental condition themselves. So take the above caregiver resolutions in mind and get ready for a bright 2015! To learn more about in-home support or caregiving support services, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Philadelphia at 215-645-4663 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager.