It can be very difficult watching your parents getting older, and increasingly dependent on others. Being a carer is hard work and emotionally draining, yet so crucially important as a vulnerable person relies on you for support with even very basic everyday tasks. If you are working at the same time as caring for someone, it can be even more stressful. It is important to get mental health support if you feel overwhelmed by the responsibility and work of being a carer. Unfortunately, society doesn’t seem to support carers as much as they should, yet carers are at a higher risk of depression and suicide. This means it is important to prioritise your health as well as the person you are caring for. Remember that if you aren’t caring for yourself you won’t even be able to care for anybody else, so by practising simple self-care as part of your everyday routine you will improve your well-being and support everyone as much as you could.
Some simple self-care practices you can put into your daily routine include getting outside everyday even if it’s for a quick walk in the park; eating healthily and drinking plenty of water; taking five minutes everyday to do some simple breathing exercises; getting enough sleep; listening to music that you like. By doing these you will hopefully feel a lot better about yourself, and being a carer will be more rewarding than it is draining.
Read on for some tips for caring for your elderly parents.
- Encourage your elderly parents to be as independent as possible. You can hire a support worker to help with this. You can buy mobility aids for your parents that help them get in and out of the bath, up and down the stairs and around the house without help. This will help them immensely with their self-esteem as well as the practicality of living in their current home. Just because someone is unable to do something it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to do it. If your parents are used to doing everything themselves but now can’t, it can be very frustrating, so helping them be independent can help with their mental well-being,
- Encourage your parents to move to a park home so they can live in a community of other seniors, where there is the care and support they may need nearby. If they would be interested in Park Homes Gloucestershire, visit Park Home Life.
- Create a regular routine that involves you visiting your elderly parents daily. Make sure they are aware of this schedule, so they can expect it. If they suffer from dementia, you can write any plans on a calendar so they can have some sort of reminder.
- Lastly, get as much help as you can. Make friends with your parent’s neighbours and ask them if they could check on your parents when you are not around. You could create a support network so that your parents always have someone nearby to help. This is so that not all of the responsibility is on your shoulders and so you have some freedom.