Stop Trying To Be Superhuman! How To Balance Your Elderly Care Duties
Taking care of elderly parents brings many challenges, and with all of the emotional challenges that come with it, one of the biggest of all is, very simply, how to manage your time.
If you are trying to take care of an older parent while also raising children, you need to look beyond standard time management tips. So let’s show you some approaches that can help.
The first thing we need to do is be realistic. We need to make sure we’re not jeopardising our well-being in the process, which is why we’ve got to be skilled at delegation. But delegation doesn’t necessarily mean giving duties to other people, it can also mean finding methods to make life easier when you are running the risk of spreading yourself too thin. For example, if you are living quite a distance from your parents, you can still do online shopping to have food delivered and liaise with a neighbour to ensure it’s all put away. Additionally, when it comes to medical care you can find an online doctor service so you can speak with a doctor directly. But the biggest form of delegation is when you decide if your parent needs to move into a home. But before you make that decision, you’ve got to consider so many different aspects such as their dignity and the practicalities. If it’s got to the point where they cannot look after themselves adequately, you may need to have this conversation with your parents. In fact, it may be time for you to consider a move to somewhere more suitable for their needs. Whether it’s senior living in Omaha or a care home in Ohio, there are loads of options to research.
In life, we have numerous things to do that cover different disciplines. You may be looking after your children while working a job and needing to keep the household afloat in addition to ensuring that your elderly parent is being supported. The first thing you need to do is to remove any pressure from your mind. And the best way to do this is to keep plenty of lists. By having the right lists and linking them with your Google Calendar you can prioritise what is necessary and what can be done differently or removed altogether. Because when you have this list, you can start to delegate accordingly, but also it’s a load off your mind because you don’t have to try and keep all of these things in your head. It’s not easy to try and remember everything, so don’t put yourself under additional pressure by doing this.
Stop Thinking About Perfection
Sometimes good enough is good enough. You can go into the situation with the best of intentions and by realising you are not superhuman and doing your best in these circumstances, it will take the pressure off so you can still do everything to the best of your ability. Sometimes, that pressure to be perfect means that we are anything but, and we even go down in our own estimations. For example, you may think that you want to have a healthy diet, but it’s important to remember that having a takeaway when you are too tired to cook is not going to cause any harm. And, of course, from the perspective of your child, it’s going to feel like a treat! Because we have to remember that caring is not something that we do every now and again, it’s about having to sustain this over a long period of time. So if you set the bar too high, it is impossible to achieve. Being good enough means you will be able to sustain your role while minimising the potential for burnout.
Get Support for Yourself
Burnout is very common because of the various pressures. If you never give yourself time to top up your reserves you are going to see the fallout in other aspects of your life. You might struggle to take care of your marriage during this time, and people in relationships can feel that they are not getting the support they need because the partner’s focus is elsewhere. This is why it is vital to have support for yourself. Support is not just about having someone listen to your concerns, but it can also be about practical support. Having a list of reliable taxi drivers or tradespeople are going to take the pressure off when the unexpected arises.
Caring is the single most physically and mentally exhausting task anybody can undergo. It can be complex and we can feel that whatever we’re doing, it’s not enough. There’s always permanent help that can give you the support you need but the right balance is key to those who need your support.