You’ve been a very responsible person most of your adult life.
You learned early on the value in taking proper care of yourself, saving, working hard, and planning for the future. Right now, though, an aging parent needs your help. You might live in the same town so this makes sense, but what you might not realize or fully appreciate is that even though you assume you can handle this, the stress of being a family caregiver can be overwhelming.
Never underestimate the impact stress can have.
Stress can affect anyone at any time. It is the body’s natural response to certain threats, which might include health, financial, relational, and so forth. Even though you have been responsible, are diligent, hard-working, and dedicated to whatever you take on, you are not immune to stress.
You could have this aging parent move in with you or they might live only a few miles away. Whatever the case may be, the more you begin offering support and assistance, the more likely they will depend on it frequently.
That means you will be dedicating more and more of your time to helping this aging parent through whatever circumstances they face. Just because you’ve got it covered now doesn’t mean you will have it ‘covered’ in the years to come. In fact, it’s best to assume that whatever time you’re devoting to him or her right now will double in a few months or at least a year.
Get out ahead of the stress, if you can.
If you don’t yet feel overwhelmed by stress and anxiety as a family caregiver, that’s a good thing, but don’t expect it to last. In fact, expect just the opposite.
Anticipate stress starting to overwhelm you, causing you to lose sleep at night, feel run down and unfocused during the day, and beginning to impact your relationships, work-life, and even your health.
If you can anticipate this, you can get out ahead of it. One of the most effective ways to do that when an aging parent needs assistance is to learn about home care support services.
A home care aide through an agency can be hired on a flexible schedule. That means you can hire somebody for just a couple of hours in the morning a few days a week. Maybe you can hire somebody else in the same agency for a few hours in the evenings, too.
This can give you time to focus on you, which is ultimately the best way to keep things ‘covered.’