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Tips for Being a Great Caregiver for a Senior Parent

By , 9:00 am on

Caregiving is a tremendous responsibility, and you want to know the care you provide to your parent honors how he or she has cared for you over the years. While you should expect to experience a few challenges as you adjust to your role, you can use these strategies to be an amazing caregiver who makes your parent proud.

Become an Expert on Your Parent’s Health Conditions

You’re a caregiver now because your parent needs assistance with managing his or her health and household responsibilities. Ideally, your loved one should be involved in managing his or her own health as much as possible, yet he or she may not always understand what needs to be done. Start your caregiving role off right by learning everything you can about your parent’s current health conditions, and commit to doing periodic research to stay on top of changes such as new medications that become available. 

A trained professional caregiver can also be a valuable member of your caregiving team. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior home care. Carmichael families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Be Willing to Advocate for Your Parent’s Needs

There are times when your parent may need someone to speak up on his or her behalf. For instance, you may find that a doctor brushes off your loved one’s concerns about a new symptom that he or she knows isn’t normal. Alternatively, you may need to try several times to get equipment such as a wheelchair authorized by your loved one’s medical insurance. In these situations, you need to use polite but firm language that lets people know you’ll continue to work to make sure your parent’s needs are met.

Make Time for Fun Family Experiences

Never let your caregiving role interfere with your family relationship. For example, spending hours cleaning the house while your parent watches television could lead to feelings of resentment and isolation. Try to carve out a few hours in your schedule each week to do something fun with your parent. If possible, get out of the house and enjoy a lunch or movie date. You can also establish a weekly board game night or do a favorite craft together.

Provide a Full Network of Support

Your loved one needs a variety of people who love him or her and provide support. Help your parent connect with other family members to call when he or she needs someone new to talk to. Your loved one should also know of at least one or two professional caregivers who can help with tasks around the house while you take a break. 

Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Carmichael families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.

Recognize the Early Signs of Burnout

You should also remember that being an amazing caregiver is difficult work. Managing two households, worrying about your loved one’s health, and maintaining your parent-child relationship are all stressful things to do. Watch out for signs of burnout, such as feeling a lack of joy during your day, and prioritize finding ways to relax. Being willing to step back and refresh yourself is a sure sign you’re learning to balance the responsibilities of caregiving.

Of course you want to be an amazing caregiver for your parent, but don’t be too critical of yourself if you find it overwhelming at times. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Carmichael Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If you need professional care for your senior loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (916) 485-4663.