Caring for an elderly parent can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be very demanding… especially during the summer. If you found that you have been thrust into the role of caregiver, you will likely be responsible for a wide range of tasks, from cooking and cleaning to managing medications and doctor’s appointments. It is important to find ways to manage your time effectively so that you can provide the best possible care while also taking care of yourself and enjoying the summer days.
Here are a few tips for managing your time while caring for an elderly parent or loved one:
- Create a schedule. One of the best ways to manage your time is to create a schedule. This will help you to stay organized and to make sure that you are not forgetting anything. When creating your schedule, be sure to include both your loved one’s needs and your own. You may also want to include time for breaks and relaxation.
- Delegate tasks. If possible, delegate some of the tasks associated with caregiving to other family members or friends…or even church members. There are organizations who volunteer their time to assist with elder care. This will free up some of your time so that you can focus on other things. When delegating tasks, be sure to be clear about what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by.
- Say no. It is important to learn to say no to requests that will take away from your time or energy. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is okay to say no to additional commitments.
- Take breaks. If you want to stay refreshed and avoid burnout, you have to take breaks when you are caring for an elderly parent or loved one. When you take a break, be sure to do something that you enjoy and that will help you to relax.
- Ask for help. If you are struggling to manage your time, do not hesitate to ask for help. You don’t have to be a hero. As with delegation, there are many resources available to caregivers, such as support groups, respite care, and homecare.
Caring for an elderly parent (or loved one) can be a challenging. By following these tips mentioned above, you can manage your time effectively and provide the best possible care…while still enjoying some of these summer days!
Here are some additional tips for managing your time while caring for an elderly parent (or loved one):
- Use technology to your advantage. There are many time-saving apps available that you can download to your phone, such as online calendars, to-do lists, and reminder apps. These tools can help you to stay organized and keep track of your appointments and tasks.
- Be flexible. Things will not always go according to plan, so it is important to be flexible. To minimize stress, be prepared to adjust your schedule as needed, especially for those things that aren’t “do or die”.
- Take care of yourself. It is important to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly. You should also find ways to relax and de-stress.
- Seek support. Caring for an elderly parent (or loved one) can be isolating, so it is important to seek support from others. Talk to your family and friends, join a support group, or hire a professional caregiver.