Are you the one helping your dad with his daily care needs? Do you cook his meals, do the laundry, keep the house clean, and make sure he has the groceries and supplies he needs? Are you finding it to be overwhelming?
Your dad’s care has to be a team effort. If you have brothers and sisters who don’t help out, it’s time to ask them for help. Family caregivers don’t think about how easy it can be to burn out if you stop taking care of yourself while caring for an elderly parent.
Involve the Rest of the Family
Make sure your brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, and children/grandchildren know that your dad needs help. Talk to them about the care plan you follow and see if they can pick up one of the tasks on that list.
Your sister goes grocery shopping for her family each weekend. Ask her if she can pick up the things your dad needs at the same time. You could even order them online and have everything ready for her to pick up and deliver to his house. It won’t take her much time if you set up a system like this.
Another example of getting others to help involves your cousins. They stop by to visit once a week. Your dad loves to socialize, so they are helping there. They could help even more by running the dishwasher before they leave.
Stand Up For Yourself
Are you the type of family caregiver who says “yes” a lot? You’re not alone. Many people have a hard time telling their parents that they can’t do something else. Soon, they’re overstretched and have no time left for their own needs.
If you haven’t gone out with your significant other or friends in months or years, it’s time to start socializing again. Have people over for a quiet dinner at home. Order takeout so that you’re not the one cooking.
You’ve been skipping your own medical and dental check-ups because you’re always taking your dad to them. It’s time to put yourself first and get caught up. Don’t let the fear of what the doctor or dentist will say keep you from taking these crucial steps.
You’re valuable. Without your help, your dad may not have others to rely on. Self-care has to come first, so take care of yourself. That takes a team effort.
Include home care services in that team effort. When you and other family members have other obligations or need to work, your dad doesn’t have to go without. He can have professional caregivers helping out.
Talk to a home care specialist about your dad’s care needs. You’ll work with the agency to develop the ideal care schedule and find out how much home care costs.