Caring for a senior parent is one of the most loving and selfless things you can do. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most difficult. No matter how much you love taking care of your mom or dad, sometimes there are signs you need assistance along the way. Here are five common signs you need extra help with your elderly parent.
1. At times, it is overwhelming, and it may start to take over
As a caregiver, you’re in a tough spot. You love your parents, but it can be overwhelming to provide all the care that is needed with so many competing demands on your time. From your job to family responsibilities, and everything else going on in life, there’s a lot on your shoulders.
It’s important to remember that taking care of yourself is part of taking care of your elderly parent. Putting aside time for exercise helps improve blood circulation and gives you more energy to care for them when it matters the most.
When you start to notice that the caregiving role takes over everything else, that’s a sign that you’ve lost a sense of balance in life. At this point, it may be time to take a step back and seek professional help caring for the parent. Doing so may actually help to strengthen your bond with them as they receive the proper care and you begin to achieve a life balance again.
2. Get help for your elderly parent if you get sick or injured
Are you spending more time taking care of your parent than taking care of yourself? If so, it can be easy for things like minor injuries and frequently getting sick to go unnoticed. Or, you may sweep these issues aside as you focus solely on the caregiver role.
When this type of scenario starts to happen regularly, it’s a sign that you need help from someone else. It may simply be a matter of hiring an assistant or getting some extra help from family members who live nearby if they are willing or able to help out.
If you do not seek extra help, it might be that your injury gets worse or that you pass on the cold to your fragile loved one. If so, matters can become a lot more complex, and quickly do so.
3. Constantly feel tired, exhausted, and frustrated
Feeling worn out, exhausted, and frustrated are emotions you may start to feel. They are another common sign that it’s time to get help taking care of an elderly parent.
The reason why is simple. Caring for a retired person can be extremely taxing on the body and mind. You may find yourself feeling like you just can’t keep up with everything anymore.
If you’re experiencing these feelings regularly, it means that the pressure of taking care of and supporting your senior parent is getting to be too much to handle on your own. There’s no shame in this. In fact, it shows personal strength that you are able to assess the situation well and reach out for what is best for your mom or dad.
4. Not taking care of your own health and wellness
When caring for a senior around the clock, it’s easy to neglect yourself in the process. You may start skipping meals and snacking on junk food because of the stress involved with providing care. It could also happen because you feel short on time and so eating ready-made, unhealthy snacks seems like it’s the only thing that fits in the schedule anymore.
That situation can lead to weight loss, weight gain, fatigue, and other symptoms that might lead to health issues for you down the line. If you’re not sleeping or eating properly because of caregiver responsibilities, consider hiring help for a few hours per week. Try to use this free time for self-care activities like exercising, meditating, or getting rest.
5. Your elderly parent struggles more with basic personal hygiene tasks
While it’s normal to get older, some of the changes that come with age can be hard to accept. If your parent seems to be struggling more than usual with tasks like keeping themselves clean and well-groomed, it might be time for a change in their care plan.
If their health worsens, it could indicate that you need more than a carer to help with your elderly parent. It could be an indication that you need the support of a local facility like this assisted living St. Louis has to offer.
Conclusion on seeking help for your elderly parent
If you seek assistance caring for your elderly parent to provide them with better care and provide you with some rest, then it’s time to start researching options. The sooner you begin looking into aging care services, the better off everyone is likely to be.