Taking care of your family is an immense responsibility. When that responsibility involves providing care for both children, and elderly parents, it becomes infinitely more challenging. The unique demands placed on caregivers in these situations often begin to wear on their energy and patience, seriously affecting their quality of life. And when an elderly parent is suffering from chronic pain or another type of serious illness, the required level of care can significantly disrupt your routine and even interfere with the amount of attention that your young children need.
It can be difficult finding a way to effectively master time management when facing this difficult situation. When will you have time to pack the kid’s lunches? Do they really expect dinner to be on the table as soon as they get home? The laundry just keeps piling up, but when will you have time to do it? If you find yourself struggling with thoughts like these racing through your mind a million miles per hour, you might want to consider reaching out for expert assistance from a trained and certified Geriatric Nurse, who can help shoulder some of your elderly care responsibilities, freeing up time for you to deal with other things.
It’s important to be able to provide for the needs of everyone, but don’t forget that you have to be able to make time for yourself too, and professional help may be necessary to achieve these ends. However, if you don’t have the resources to hire someone who can take some of that responsibility away from your already busy schedule, here are five simple tips that can help you find a better balance:
1. Build a team. You simply cannot care for an aging parent and an entire family all by yourself. Save time and energy by enlisting the help of others. Meet with your family members to delegate tasks so that everyone has an equal share of the responsibilities. Accepting the fact that you need help may be difficult, but it could go a long way in restoring your sense of peace and tranquility.
2. Take “you time”. Caring for children and elderly parents is stressful, difficult work. You deserve to be able to take time off for relaxation, enjoyment, and rejuvenation. Get a pedicure, go on a nature walk, take a fishing trip, or do something else that you enjoy, letting both your mind and body get some rest. Afterwards, you’ll be calmer, more collected, and better able to deal with the unique stressors that you face in daily life.
3. Set boundaries. It is essential to set limits from the get-go. Decide what you are realistically capable of, and willing to do, then stick to the plan. It may be difficult to say “no” when something above and beyond this list is asked of you, but it is for the best interest of both yourself and your family that you stay within those boundaries.
4. Communication is key. Create an open line of communication with the entire family, and everyone else involved. Facilitate open dialogue so everyone is in the loop on planning and follow-through. Do everything that you can to avoid ambiguity, as this could lead to failures in responsibility. Make it clear that you are available to discuss problems and take constructive criticism.
5. Research and plan. Do your homework! Find out what’s available to you in terms of facilities, organizations and assistance. Once you’re fully prepared, you’ll be better able to effectively respond to emergencies or changing requirements in your situation. If you need trained assistance, find responsible caregivers, certified daycare centers, or family members and friends that you can count on to pitch in during times of trouble. Having a plan will provide you with peace of mind and allow you to focus on more important things than the million “What if…” questions.
By following these simple tips, you may be able to turn your nightmare schedule around and find a way to effectively confront all of the problems you face in providing care for your loved ones. Remember that you’re not alone, and don’t be afraid to seek out the help of family members, friends, and trained professionals. Stay positive and remember that you can do anything you set your mind to!
by Kar Strout.