Caregivers to older adults often have very little time to themselves. It can be hard to take a break when you’re scheduling medical appointments, going to them, organizing pills, making meals, and the hundred other things you do every day. Let’s face it, you’d love a minute to yourself to read a good book or chat with a friend, but how can you get the time? Below are 5 sneaky ways to make room for a break in a busy caregiver’s day.
#1: Take a Break in the Waiting Room
If you sit in the waiting room while your older family member is in with the doctor, use it as a break. Bring a snack, a good book, or other portable activity with you and pull them out when the older adult is called in for their appointment. Sit in the least populated part of the waiting room and bury your nose in your book or listen to some music on your phone. Resist that urge to use your smartphone to research the senior’s medical condition or schedule more appointments. Instead, nibble on your snack and just relax.
#2: Catch Up with Friends During Naps
Many older adults nap for at least a short time during the day. Use that time to call a friend for a chat. Staying in touch with other people in your life is important because being a caregiver is stressful. You need the support of your friends and family members. So, pick up the phone and make a call or send an email to someone you care about.
#3: Go for a Walk
Okay, caregivers may not be able to do this one alone, but a walk can still offer you a chance to relax even if the older adult is with you. The fresh air will refresh you and getting out of the house for a bit can lift your mood as well as the mood of the senior. Your improved mood and theirs could make the rest of your day a little easier!
#4: Teach the Senior Your Hobby
If you feel like you never get a chance to do the hobby you love, consider teaching the older adult to do it, too. For example, if you love to knit, try teaching the senior a basic stitch or two so they can make a scarf, dish cloth, or blanket. That way, you can sit together and knit. You get some time to do your hobby and they have something to do, too! If the older adult has dementia, they may not be able to knit, but they might enjoy “helping” you by rolling yarn into balls while you knit.
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOME CAREGIVERS IN ALTOONA, IA, FOR AN ELDERLY LOVED ONE, CONTACT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF DES MOINES, IA AT 515-631-5033. OUR CARING STAFF CAN ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS!