Maintaining a full-time job, taking care of your family, and then also taking care of an ill/aging member can be quite a challenge. It can take a toll on all aspects of your life; eventually leaving you drained of life, time, and energy.
It’s estimated that an average caregiver happens to be roughly 49 years old. This is peak time for career advancement and earning. Women, in particular, find themselves greatly impacted by these responsibilities.
So, in this post, we look at how you can maintain a work-life balance while caring for a senior with memory issues like Alzheimer’s before they can finally transition to one of the senior living communities and homes.
Get the Right Help
The right kind of help is always available. You just have to look for it. To simplify things, below are a few common sources of caregiver help and support you can find –
In-house Care can take a lot off of your shoulders. You can choose to get from just a few hours of assistance every week to hiring full-time help. It all depends on your budget and what you can afford. You can even hire someone to help with basic tasks like shopping, housekeeping, running errands, etc. so that you can invest more time towards caring for your aging parents.
Adult Day Care
Adult Day Care is an excellent way for you to engage seniors in meaningful activities with plenty of opportunities for socialization. You can always look on the internet to find out about adult day care; particularly ones specializing in dementia and memory care issues. In this way, you can find plenty of time to continue attending to other household needs.
Respite Care programs such as nursing homes or daycare centers give you a large chunk of time to travel, rest, and attend to important needs. You can even find paid help and volunteers around you to offer in-home respite care.
Memory Care Homes
Memory Care Homes such as assisted living facilities with memory care units or dedicated memory care communities offer the highest level of care for families who are unable to care for their loved ones at home due to their work. Assisted living centers are often a good option for those who cannot get enough care from home care agencies or who simply want a full-time care and living arrangement for their loved one.
Common Services Offered By Family Caregivers
The help can range from –
- Maintaining personal hygiene such as dressing, bathing, toileting, and feeding
- Meal preparation, help with transportation,
- Handling finances
- Communicate with physicians and other care professionals
- Medication management
Other Tips for Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Develop An Everyday Routine
One of the best things caregivers can do to minimize their responsibilities is to get their seniors into a habit of daily activities and routines.
This type of consistency is one of the best things for Dementia patients to avoid unpredictable behaviors. Naturally, when their health deteriorates you would need to revise a few changes in that routine.
Look After Yourself
Go to the doctor for regular checkups. Be on the lookout for signs of excessive stress. It’s so easy to neglect your own health and needs while you’re caring for others.
Always take some time out to do some outings with friends, go out to dinner, maintain social contracts, engage in hobbies and interests, etc. that’s the only way to strike a balance between everything that’s necessary for life.
Communicate With Someone Your Trust
It could be your spouse, a family member, a friend you trust, a therapist, a clergy member, or someone else. There are bound to be times when you’re feeling down or simply overwhelmed. Just the simple act of pouring your heart and what you’re going through can be therapeutic. Communication is a huge stress reliever.
Even 30 minutes of mild exercise can keep you fit and active. Not to mention, it releases endorphins – the happiness-boosting hormones. Even if you cannot get 30-minutes straight, try to get even 10 minutes of exercise twice or thrice a day.
Caring for a dementia patient can be quite a stressful endeavor. That’s why you could always use a relaxation technique. It’s perfect for elevating your mood, busting stress, and elevating energy levels. To that end, you could try practicing mindfulness, deep breathing, yoga, or meditation.
Caring for your ailing parents is a noble task; especially when they’re struggling with grave issues like Dementia and Alzheimer’s. But, you can never care for them, unless you care for yourself and learn to strike a balance between everything. When you are simply not able to juggle caring and work effectively, consider getting professional help from one of your local dementia care facilities. Hopefully, this post helped to shed some light on how to juggle everything effectively.