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Are You Keeping Your Own Mental Health a Top Priority as a Family Caregiver?

By Erin Carll

As your loved one's family caregiver, your own mental health has got to be a top priority of yours. Making it a high priority will enable you to be able to care for your loved one more effectively.

Develop a Schedule for Time Away

Regular time away allows you to turn your brain away from thinking and worrying about what's going on with your elderly loved one to focusing on other topics. When you are away, it's essential that you're doing something for you. Time away isn't just an opportunity to catch up on caregiving tasks.

Set Boundaries that You Can Keep

Boundaries are important in all of the various areas of your life, but they're especially important for your caregiving journey. Basically a boundary is a limitation beyond which you're not going to cross. For example, one of your boundaries may be that you're not going to tolerate your loved one yelling at you when she's frustrated. When you make the boundary, you have to also decide what your answer to a crossed boundary is. In this case, it might be walking away until your loved one changes the volume of her voice. Keeping boundaries is essential to allowing them to work properly.

Bring Other Family Members into the Care Plan as Often as Possible

Your other family members can and should help out as often as they are able to do so. That helps them, you, and your elderly loved one, believe it or not. It's not beneficial for anyone involved to try to do everything by yourself.

Relinquish the Need to Fix Everything for Your Loved One

When you're caring for your elderly loved one, it's tempting to want to fix everything for her. You care about her, you want what's best for her, and it's difficult to watch her in situations that make her struggle. But the problem is that you can't fix everything. You can make some aspects of her life easier, but you can't make it all go away.

As you start to take better care of yourself emotionally, you'll experience benefits in all areas of your life.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Allison Park, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.