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Why Do Caregivers Need to Practice Self-Care?

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To be a great caregiver for your elderly loved one, you need to be good to yourself. Forgetting to honor your own needs could lead to burnout and safety issues for your parent. Although you may think it’s selfish to care for yourself, here are some reasons it’s not, as well as steps you can take to practice good self-care.

Caregivers Need to Achieve Life Goals

Becoming a family caregiver doesn’t prevent you from pursuing your personal and professional goals. If you must spend a little more time at work and need to hire a caregiver to step in to help with your loved one’s daily tasks, you have that right. There’s nothing selfish about working on life goals. In fact, continuing to put your dreams and aspirations first is necessary because it gives you a purpose outside of caregiving. Having fulfilling tasks and moments of success can prevent you from becoming stressed, regretful, or depressed.

Staying Social Is Vital to a Caregiver’s Health

There may be activities your parent has to skip out on due to mobility issues and various health conditions. However, you should still attend social events if you feel up to going. Your loved one’s health doesn’t prevent you from maintaining a social life. Failing to find a balance between your social needs and your loved one’s life could lead to caregiver burnout, animosity, and other severe mental, physical, and emotional issues. You should never feel bad about putting your social needs first. 

Family caregivers are often at high risk for burnout, and hiring an in-home caregiver can provide a much-needed source of support. When you search for a professional caregiver, you’re looking for someone with experience in senior care who’s compassionate and trustworthy. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care services. Phoenix families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

Extended Breaks Are Necessary

You’ll have fun and rewarding days as a family caregiver, but you may also have some bad days. To prevent the negative aspects of caregiving from leading to burnout, you need to take extended breaks. During these days or weeks away from caregiving, you can focus on things that bring you joy instead of worrying about your loved one. It’s not selfish to take breaks. The time away provides caregivers and their loved ones with a much-needed separation, and it may be just what you need to recharge and come back with a clearer perspective. 

Family caregivers don’t have to risk their own wellbeing to make sure their loved ones continue to receive high-quality care. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Phoenix, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Self-Care Can Bring Out the Best in Caregivers

Self-care can build strength in family caregivers. You need to maintain a clear mind and good health to continue caring for your loved one, and you must keep up with your doctor visits, find time to exercise, continue following a nutritious diet, and practice good hygiene. It would be selfish to let your health go, because it could put your loved one in danger. Your loved one deserves the best care possible, and if you don’t practice self-care, his or her health could be at risk. Self-care can bring out the best in you, allowing you to give your all to every task. Selfishness would be to put your loved one’s health in jeopardy because you failed to get the rest, nutrition, and other necessities your body and mind need to function at optimal levels.

It’s crucial for family caregivers to take good care of themselves, and if you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, remember you don’t have to manage everything all on your own. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Phoenix elder care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 602.388.1085.