Being the primary caregiver for a senior loved one can be extremely rewarding. It enables you to spend more quality time with your mother, father, grandparents, or other beloved senior family member. You have the opportunity to make sure that they are well loved and cared for all while remaining in a familiar and safe environment. 

However, there are times when it can be a bit stressful. This is especially true if your senior has a chronic illness or suffers from a dementia diagnosis. Caring for someone, whether it be full time or part time, can take its toll. There is a lot that you have to sacrifice and give up in order to properly care for your senior loved one. But when that happens, who is caring for the caregiver?

Today, our team here at Heritage Hills wants to offer primary caregivers a few tips to better monitor their own well being, including information about utilizing short term respite care in Oceanside. Continue reading to learn more!

1.) Join a support group.

If there is one thing that you should know, it’s that you are not alone.  While many caregivers tend to isolate, know that you don’t have to. In fact, one in every five Americans acts as a family caregiver to a senior loved one. This means that there are others out there who go through the same challenges and triumphs as you do!

Do a web search to find what support groups are available in your community, or if they are any that meet virtually. Being able to talk about what you go through on a daily basis is extremely important. It will allow you to ask questions, get tips, and even vent about any frustrations that you might be facing. 


2.) Make time for what you love.

All too often, caregivers give up every aspect of their lives to focus on their senior loved one. While some sacrifices are unavoidable, it is still extremely vital that you find the time to do the things that you love. Do you have a hobby you enjoy, such as arts and crafts, going to the gym, or playing an instrument? While it can be harder to make a significant amount of time for these things once you become a caregiver, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your senior appreciates everything you do for them, but they likely wouldn’t want you to lose yourself in the process.


3.) Stay on top of your own health.

It is impossible to pour from an empty cup. If you are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted, you are going to have an even harder time completing the tasks that need to get done. This type of fatigue takes a toll on your body, which means that you will become more susceptible to illness and injury. If you are sick or injured, then you will be unable to care for your loved one. 

To prevent this cycle, remember to take care of your own health. Visit your doctor for regular health screenings, and make sure to be honest about any stress you might be under. Make sure to stay up on your water intake throughout the day, and eat regular, healthy meals whenever possible. Exercise is very important, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day. These types of small changes can add up and help.

A senior and caregiver go on a fall walk together

4.) Shake off the bad days.

Bad days are going to happen. Even if you know it’s all a part of life, it can be really easy for these negative things to get under your skin. That is human nature, after all. While it’s always easier said than done, try to shake off the bad days. Don’t linger on any mistakes or dwell too hard if the whole day feels like a wash. 

Nobody is perfect, and caring for a loved one is extremely challenging. If your senior has Alzheimer’s or dementia, this can also present a unique set of circumstances that can be difficult to navigate. Take a deep breath, give yourself some grace, and just try for a better day tomorrow. Again, this is where being a part of a support group can really come in handy, as there is where you can learn some great coping mechanisms and share stories that make you feel as though you aren’t alone in this endeavor. 


5.) Treat yourself every now and then.

You work really hard and it’s okay to remember that you deserve a treat every now and then! Book an appointment for a massage or go get your nails done. Stop by your local coffee shop and enjoy a hot beverage and ten minutes of alone time. The next time you are at the mall, purchase that pair of shoes or book you’ve been eyeing. No matter what that looks like for you, these little acts of self care can go a long way. Sometimes, it might feel like a thankless job, but that’s why it’s all the more important that you stop and acknowledge your own hard work from time to time.


6.) Use short term respite care in Oceanside.

If you have never considered short term respite care, now is a great time to find out more! Short term respite care in Oceanside can be an excellent way to give yourself a break. Here at Heritage Hills, we offer our incredible respite care for an all-inclusive daily rate. You can rest assured knowing that your loved one is somewhere that is both safe and has a whole host of excellent amenities. 

Not only will you be able to get some rest and relaxation, but so will your senior! They can join in on activities that are being hosted, enjoy delicious meals at our dining room, and even visit our beauty salon. This can be a great way for them to connect and make new friends with other older adults. 


Contact Us Today!

To find out more about our services, feel free to contact us today! We understand just how hard caregivers work to take care of their loved ones, and it is our pleasure to offer excellent care to give you peace of mind.