Caregiver Stress - Time Management: A Caregiver's Best Friend

Time Management: A Caregiver's Best Friend

Caregiver Stress - We all know what it's like to have to juggle responsibilities and obligations from our spouses,

our children, to our employer and beyond. For those committed to caring for an aging parent, time management is critical.

Taking care of the needs of our children, husband or wife and an aging parent who may require various levels of attention and care may cause an extreme burden or stress on the shoulders of a primary caregiver.

Not only do you have your own family and home to take care of, which provide more than enough challenges on a daily basis, you may now find yourself trying to take care of two homes, the physical and emotional needs of an aging parent as well as taking on the role of medical researcher, decision maker, and information gatherer - caregiver stress!

What issues are difficult for you when caring for Mom and Dad? Share your experience and ask questions of other caregivers like you.

Children who find themselves caring for elderly parents suffering from various forms of dementia, from early onset to late-stage Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, find that making decisions and emotional and physical care obligations severely hamper that person's ability to care for the parent, their own families, or themselves.

Caregiver Stress Time Management Clock Leaking Time

Learning How to Cope with Caregiver Stress

Many of us become easily overwhelmed with caregiver stress when suddenly thrust into a care giving scenario or situation. Whether expected or unexpected, the demands, responsibilities and obligations for caring for an elderly parent places a large strain on many marriages, jobs, and personal expectations.

If you find yourself suddenly in charge of an elderly parent or involved in their care, a few steps on coping will help to relieve stress and eliminate feelings of anger or resentment.

For example:

Set limits -

determine your elderly parent's needs, discuss it with them or with your siblings or other family members, and determine a course of action. Can the parent be cared for at home? Would he or she be better off in a long-term care facility? Does he or she require specialized medical care or attention? Is he or she suffering from any form of dementia or degenerative or debilitating disease process that will require intense physical care?

Determine what you are capable of doing. Be willing to accept and encourage help early on. Whether that help comes from professional caregivers, Home Health Agency support systems or from other family members or neighborhood volunteers, take advantage of any and all offers of help.

Relegate tasks -

whenever possible, enlist other family members, including your spouse, (and children if they're old enough), to help in the care of an elderly parent, especially if the parent is now living in your home.

Caregiver Stress Time Management Woman with Long List of Items to Complete

Call siblings, a close family friend, or extended family members and enlist their help in any way possible. Perhaps one sibling can be responsible for picking up prescriptions on a weekly basis, or taking the parent to required doctor's office visits. If you have no siblings, call and ask about low-cost community options such as taxis, caregiver agencies or senior citizen vans that may help with such tasks while you are at work or taking care of your own home responsibilities.

Enlist the help of neighborhood teenagers for cleaning and gardening services for an elderly parent still living at home (or for your own home). Responsible teenagers looking for a few extra bucks may be more than willing to take care of such chores on a weekly basis.


Help with Caregiver Stress

Don't try to be a hero -

many children who find themselves suddenly responsible for the care of an elderly parent try to take on too much and begin to feel caregiver stress. After all, there are only so many hours in a day and only so far that any human being can push him or herself. Your elderly parent's health and overall well being may be your responsibility, but providing quality and effective care requires that caregiver's take care of themselves and their needs. Believe that you can reduce the caregiver stress in your life!

Learn when to say NO -

eventually, you're going to have to make some choices in regard to what you can or are willing to provide for a parent. Learn to say no to your parent when demands become impossible to meet.

This is not to say that all elderly parents are demanding, but many don't realize that children involved in their care are already burdened by family and work responsibilities and may have caregiver stress. Being a martyr to your parents' wishes will do neither of you any good in the long run. Reducing caregiver stress will be beneficial to you and your parents.

Balancing Obligations and Responsibilities

Communication is vital to a caregiver in such scenarios. Discuss the needs and demands of the elderly parent with your spouse and children, if they're old enough to understand, while at the same time explaining to the parent about the needs and requirements of your own family, work, and home responsibilities.

Communication is an important part of reducing caregiver stress.

Whenever possible, try to compromise with the parent regarding care, and be open to discussing possibilities in regard to secondary, professional or neighborhood care giving associations, caregiver agencies or other such options. The key to successful, quality and effective care giving is to ensure that the elderly parent and the caregiver's physical, emotional and mental well being are being addressed and taken care of.

Caregiver Stress and Time Management to Elderly Parents Stress

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