5 Mistakes to Avoid When Caring for a Senior Parent

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The responsibilities of caring for an aging parent can be difficult for many caregivers, causing them to make mental and physical mistakes. It’s important for caregivers to learn as much about their new role as possible and ask medical providers for tips going forward. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when caring for your senior loved one.

1. Refusing to Ask for Help

You are not expected to do everything regarding your parent’s care. It’s okay to ask for assistance from other family members, even if you only need them to step in for a few hours each week while you attend a doctor’s appointment, go to your child’s afterschool activities, or simply take time to catch up on rest. Your siblings and other family members may be willing to help out, but you have to ask. Delegate duties to your family and friends, and make sure they commit to the schedule you create.

Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Lincoln home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

2. Overseeing Multiple Households 

Consider asking your parent to move into your home if this option can simplify your responsibilities. When you explain to your loved one that the responsibility of overseeing two households is overwhelming, he or she may be less hesitant about moving into your home. Don’t be afraid to downsize and make the role easier on you and your family. If you are stressed and worn out, you won’t be able to provide high-quality care to your parent.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Lincoln Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.

3.Ignoring Your Own Health and Goals

Self-care is extremely important for caregivers. You need to continue visiting the doctor for checkups and screenings because you won’t be able to care for your parent if your health is compromised. You should also continue working on your goals, such as getting a promotion at work or starting your own business. Ignoring your own health and your personal goals could lead to mental, emotional, and physical issues. Goals can provide you with the separation and balance you need to prevent burnout, heart issues, depression, and isolation.

4.Forgetting to Safety-Proof the Home

Your parent may be well enough to care for him or herself and only needs you to check in a couple of days per week. One of the best ways to ensure your loved one can maintain his or her independence is to safety-proof the home. You don’t need to make expensive changes to the home. Make minor fixes that can prevent slips, falls, and injuries that seniors are more prone to. Some simple changes you should make to the home include: 

• Installing grab bars 

• Adding more lights 

• Lowering cabinets 

• Replacing traditional rugs with nonslip mats

5. Not Taking Extended Breaks

Some family caregivers feel they have a system in place, and if they are not there to oversee that system, it will fail. You can take extended breaks and still make sure your loved one receives high-quality care. If you are more comfortable with a professional stepping in while you are away, use respite care. Hiring a professional caregiver allows you to take extended breaks without feeling guilty. It’s important for you to continue living your life, even if your parent’s health is decreasing.

Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you are caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Lincoln families who want to avoid burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. Call us at (402) 817-1976 to learn more about ways a professional caregiver can benefit your loved one.

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