Some family caregivers have the benefit of falling back on siblings to help care for aging parents. When you’re an only child, that’s not possible. You don’t have a brother or sister to vent to, brainstorm with, or rely on for breaks. How do you handle family caregiving as an only child?
Find a Way to Build a Support System
Make sure you have a support system. Whether it’s friends, your own children, or your cousins, make sure you have a support system in place. There will be days when you’re frustrated, sad, anxious, or angry. You need people to step in and help you or simply listen to you while you vent.
When you’re building a support system, come up with a schedule where you could use the most help. If it’s hardest getting breakfast on the table while you’re also helping your mom shower and dress, you might appreciate having a friend stop by and whip up a quick meal. If it’s hard finding time to walk the dog, you might find a neighbor is happy to do that for you.
Look for Volunteer Organizations
Ask around to see if there are volunteer organizations that can help you. You might find a local church offers help mowing lawns or shoveling driveways and sidewalks. A neighborhood organization might help by dropping off a pot of soup each week. Someone may be able to pick up groceries for you.
Once you’ve found some volunteers that can help, don’t be embarrassed to reach out. There may come a day when you can return the favor and help someone else.
Make sure you’re maintaining self-care. If you’re ignoring your own needs, you put your health at risk. Excessive stress impacts emotional and mental health, but it can also impact your physical health. Too much stress can raise your blood pressure. There are also links between excessive stress and diabetes, heart disease, and lowered immunities.
Keep up with doctor’s appointments. Get your flu shot. Eat a nutritious diet and exercise each day. Leave time at the end of the day for yourself. Read a book, take a bubble bath, or meditate.
Arrange to Have Professional Elderly Care Providers Help Out
Don’t be ashamed to admit you need help. Reach out to an elderly care agency and learn how you can schedule part-time caregivers to help your parents. You don’t have to do it all. Call our elderly care agency now to discuss rates and services.
If you or a loved one are considering Elderly Care Services near New Holland PA, contact the caring staff at Extended Family Care of Lancaster. Call today at (717) 205-2174.
A long-time resident of Lancaster County, Mary Lynne enjoys spending time with her husband Terry, and their 3 horses and collies. The countless hours of caring for her client and employee-based “family” at work and at home can truly depict the selfless character of Mary Lynne Heller. Mary Lynne is a Google Verified Author
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