Being a carer can mean many things, whether it is to an elderly relative or someone with a physical or mental condition, disability, or addiction. For some, it’s being a full-time caregiver with a huge number of responsibilities. For others, it means helping out a few hours a week. However much you help care for someone, it can take its toll on you and them. You end up spending a lot of time together, even when you might not really want to, and you can both have your own problems to deal with too. If you’re finding it hard and want greater health and happiness in the future, the following things can be helpful.
Look into Extra Help When Being a Carer
If you care for someone all the time, it can make both you and them feel down. Even if you love each other, it’s tough to be there for someone 24/7. And, even if they feel grateful, they still might struggle to have you around all the time.
Looking into getting extra care from someone else might help. It gives both of you some respite so you can take a breather. Have a look at http://cooperativehomecare.com/12-24-hour-care/ for an example of services that can help you. You might choose to set up a regular care schedule or just arrange additional care once in a while. If you need help with funding, find out what assistance you could get first.
Plan Fun Activities and Days Out
Many seniors can get bored, especially if they’re stuck at home all the time. While you might not be available to take your loved on on trips all the time, you can still arrange to do things with them so that you can both have some fun.
It’s good to do something relaxing outdoors together, instead of being cooped up inside. You might want to choose some gentle activities, such as going to the park or taking a sewing class. You could also simply go for a cup of coffee and a snack, or perhaps go see a movie.
Being a Carer: Get Active Together
Older people often experience mobility problems, but they can still lead active lives. Even if they have to take things slowly, it’s usually better to be on the move in some way than sitting for long stretches of time.
Getting active keeps both of you healthy. You could go for a walk or perhaps stay home and try a gentle workout DVD. Another great exercise to try is swimming or perhaps a water-based fitness class. Water helps to support you and lessen impact, making it great for anyone who experiences joint issues.
Find an Outside Social Circle
Even when you care for someone, you can get a bit fed up seeing them all the time. If you need a break, make sure you have a solid social circle you can turn to outside of that. The same goes for the person you care for.
If you find that being a caregiver with its long hours and emotional toll has hurt some friendshiops, get back in touch with them by reaching out. Alternatively, find new friends by joining some groups. Being social is important at any age, but especially important for seniors.
Help make both yourself and the person you care for to be happier and healthier than before by making a few changes. It might not take much to make your lives better!
5 thoughts on “Being a Carer: Health and Happiness for You and Them Too”
This is a great article to learn from! Thanks for the helpful information!
I absolutely agree it is so important for both carers and those they are caring for to have time out from each other. 20 years ago I cared for my mother after she had a stroke and now I care for my 14 year old granddaughter so I have had first hand experience with being a carer. I have learnt that as a carer you have to look after yourself first so you can continue caring for others
Love your blog. My most recent day out with my Mum was to the races – she loved yelling out to the riders and prodding tall spectators with her walking stick from her wheelchair so that she could see. I’m capturing some of our shared experiences and adding insight from my perspective as a child growing up with a mum with borderline personality disorder and more recently, dementia. Would love any feedback about soniasmum – and any other stories to share. Keep up your fantastic work. Sonia
This is a very challenging job I been doing it for years ! Some people don’t understand that it’s hard on the person you caring for because they have to adapt to a total stranger caring for them . It’s not easy but you have to find out what the patient needs are . Thanks for the tips !
These are all great tips, Christy. I’ve recently learned that extra care is critical. Thanks! xo