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Common Questions About Caregiving

If you’ve recently become a family caregiver for an older loved one, you likely have many questions. From how to manage your time to how to cope with caregiver stress, being responsible for the care of a senior can leave many people feeling anxious and uncertain. It’s why we created this FAQ page. Here you will find the answers to questions we receive most often.

Questions & Answers

A:  Many family caregivers juggle multiple responsibilities in their day and week besides caregiving: a busy career outside the home, their own family commitments, community obligations, and maintaining a home. Establishing a weekly schedule can help you better plan your days and make it easier to identify when and where you will likely need assistance.

 

Caregivers often find that establishing a routine helps to reduce anxiety. It also lets the senior you care for know when and where you will be each day, which may alleviate some of their stress as well.

A:  This is a sentiment expressed by many adult children who take on the role of family caregiver. They feel duty bound to manage everything related to their aging parent’s care on their own. If you find yourself feeling guilty about asking for or accepting help, remember it is the best way to be a successful family caregiver over the long term. 

 

Burned out, overwhelmed caregivers often experience a health crisis of their own. Should that happen to you, who would be available to care for your senior loved one?

 

Lean on your friends, family, and religious advisor for support. But also consider joining an online caregiver support group. Finding peers who are experiencing struggles similar to yours can help you manage the emotional and physical challenges of caregiving.

A: The physical and emotional stress of caregiving can be exhausting. Family caregivers often stop taking time to do the things that help each of us manage stress, such as exercise, reading, and enjoying time with friends.

Giving up “me time” is one of the most common mistakes new caregivers make. While you might not have as much time to indulge in your favorite pastimes as you used to, it’s still important to take time for yourself each day.

Start by committing 15 minutes each day to something that helps you nurture your own spirit. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Water and tend to flowers or plants
  • Take a hot bath with lavender Epsom salts
  • Meditate or practice yoga
  • Read a book or magazine
  • Take a walk around the block
  • Listen to music and dance around the room
  • Read from a daily devotional book
  • Call a friend for a quick chat

A: Respite care is a great service designed to help family caregivers take a time out from caregiving. There are many types of respite available, including a short-term stay at a senior living community.

 At Elmcroft, respite guests receive the same support and services as our long-term residents do. They also have an opportunity to participate in the wide variety of life enrichment activities that happen every day.


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