Caring for a loved one requires caring for yourself
When an aging parent or parents need help, you want to be there to give them the assistance they need.
You check the mail for Mom since you're already at the post office.
You offer to pick up Dad's groceries because "it's just easier."
You schedule a followup appointment with their doctor, or stop by to mow the lawn, or cook a few meals to keep in the freezer.
But at some point these tasks may start to overwhelm you and create unexpected strains on you, your relationship with your parents and your own family life. Even if you don't realize it, helping your parents with daily tasks puts you in the beginning stages of caregiving. Knowing when to ask for help is key to properly caring for your loved ones and maintaining your own well-being.
Why does it matter that I'm a caregiver?
Caregiving may not be the first thing that comes to mind if helping out from time to time. After all, isn't it the kind of thing you just do for someone you care about?
But acknowledging the importance of what you do as an informal caregiver can make all the difference in your relationship — and your health.
Mom may not be the only one who depends on you, especially if you're sandwiched between caring for your own children and your parents.
Not recognizing you and your parent's busy routine can lead to caregiver burnout, which can leave you feeling drained, stressed and overwhelmed.
So what do I do now
It's important to remember that in order to care for another person, you must take care of yourself, too. Know that you are not alone.
There are many people just like you who struggle to find balance in their role as an informal caregiver. Reading other people's stories can help you relate to what you're feeling, or connect with people who understand your situation.
At the Good Samaritan Society, we're here to help you, no matter what stage of caregiving you're in — or how much help you and your parent or parents need. Many of our locations provide programs that can provide a helping hand to caregivers.
Adult Day Services
Adult day service programs offer daytime respite services that enable primary caregivers (spouse, family, or friends) to work, run errands or have a break from their caregiving duties.
Child daycare services offer supervision and age-appropriate programs to foster children’s social skills, language skills, physical skills and self-help skills.
Respite care services offer around-the-clock assistance during a short-term stay, which typically lasts more than 24 hours, but less than two weeks.
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