How to Balance Your Needs when Caring for an Older Loved One

How to balance your needs when caring for an older loved one?

caring old loved one
photo: Pexels

Caring for a family member can be a great opportunity to reconnect and experience your existing relationship on a deeper level. That’s not to say that challenges don’t arise from trying to balance the level of care required and all of the other responsibilities in life. Generally speaking, our older loved ones can need a lot of care and attention. That can be hard if you are working full-time, raising a family or trying to juggle both of these in tandem. With that said, the balancing act doesn’t have to be impossible. Fortunately, there are services and options available to help balance your needs when caring for an older loved one.

Outside help

A great way to balance the care for an older loved one with your busy lifestyle is to opt for a little outside help. Options like residential care, community care and respite care can provide an extremely helpful service that brings a qualified carer to your home to look after and keep your loved one company when you can’t be there. Not only does this offer the peace of mind you need to effectively get on with your day, but knowing the carer is fully qualified is another added benefit. With the involvement of aged care management software, you can stay in touch and oversee your elderly loved ones’ care plan, and be hands-on even when you’re not physically there. There are plenty of options to suit your circumstances such as daily care or care that is provided at specific times only. That makes managing your other responsibilities a lot easier when you know there is someone there to care for your loved one on those occasions you cannot be there.

Community options

Keeping social is important for not only balancing your needs, but for balancing the needs of your older loved one. Growing older doesn’t mean we have to give up those hobbies or interests that we used to love, in fact, you may even get started with a creative pursuit in your older years. Helping your elderly loved one find social groups or clubs that meet to sew, dance or play golf is still very important. Not only will this type of socialising keep their mind active, but it will also help you to make time for your own needs. If you have particular errands to run on any given day, then a social outing facilitated by community care can be the perfect way to keep your loved one active while you tick a few things off the to-do list.

Opportunities to help

If you are working full time, it can be particularly difficult to balance the responsibilities at work and home. A fantastic way to keep your older loved one active and engaged while you complete your other jobs, is to get them to volunteer somewhere. Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding way to keep your loved one engaged, give them a challenge and help balance your needs. It can be even more effective if you can enlist them in a program that you yourself are also affiliated with. Simple tasks are enough to give them a sense of accomplishment, such as filing or helping sort mail. Volunteering or helping at your workplace allows you to not only keep them engaged, but keep a close and caring eye on them as well.

Time for chats

The trope that older people and technology don’t mix isn’t necessarily true when caring for an older loved one. In fact, technology can play a vital role in assisting to balance your needs and keep your loved one socialising. Online chat boards and communities are a good way to keep your older loved one engaged in a topic they are interested in, as well as giving you an opportunity to get those other jobs done.

Caring for an older loved one is a rewarding and great way to reconnect. It can be tough to balance your other needs though, so instead of trying to balance everything under the sun and eventually burning out, use this simple guide to help you along your journey.

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