>U Mom Knows Best: 7 Tips for Maintaining Mental Health While Caring for Aging Parents

Saturday, June 29, 2024

7 Tips for Maintaining Mental Health While Caring for Aging Parents


 Caring for aging parents is a stressful task and places a lot of pressure on you to watch out for not just the needs and overall well-being of your elderly family members, but requires you to be mindful of their legal needs as well. You must maintain your mental health while attending to the physical, emotional, and mental health needs of your aging loved ones. Staying fit is also important.

 If your loved ones are living in an assisted living or nursing home setting, they still require much time and attention regarding overall care. While a nursing home abuse attorney can manage their legal issues (including elderly abuse and neglect) to bring peace of mind to you and your loved ones, much of the rest of their daily needs will be largely left for you to manage. This means you have to not only prioritize the livelihood of your aging parents, you have to consider your self-care needs as well. After all, if you don’t have good mental health, you’re less able to meet the demands of caring for your aging loved ones. Here are 7 tips for maintaining mental health while caring for aging parents. 

Have Someone To Vent To

 Taking care of a loved one in any capacity is taxing and takes a lot of time and patience, and caring for elderly loved ones can feel extra difficult. This is because they’re adults with different and more complex demands than children, and they’re adults who used to take care of you. Have someone to vent to and let your anxieties and frustrations out. This person can be a sibling, a friend, a relative, or even a professional therapist. 

Get Your Rest

 Sleep is vital when you have extra expectations placed on you. Sleep helps you recharge at the end of the day and is vital for your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. If you need help getting proper rest each night, speak to your doctor for advice and recommendations. 

Manage Your Health

 Don’t let your health slip by while worrying about the health and well-being of your loved one. Your mental health relies on your physical health, so take time to visit the doctor for regular checkups, consider joining a support group for family caregivers, and get regular exercise to maintain your health and clarity. You’ll be a better caretaker as well as feel better all-around when you prioritize yourself as well. 

Pick A Hobby You Can Do While Caregiving

 A hobby you can pick up during your caregiving hours can help pass the time more effectively while allowing you to still give quality attention to your elderly loved one. A hobby both you and your loved one can enjoy is even better! 

 Consider crocheting, building puzzles, going for a stroll, adult coloring pages, reading a book (or listening to an audiobook everyone can enjoy) or even watching a television program to help pass the time and create bonding moments that can increase mental health for everyone. 

Ask For Help

 Taking care of a loved one is time-consuming and overwhelming sometimes. You should be able to ask for help, be it from other family members, people in your church or other spiritual group, or even from the legal team that represents your elderly loved one in their legal matters or representation for higher-quality care. Asking for help not only gives you control back of your own life, it allows you to delegate tasks to others that are too much of a mental load for you alone to tackle. Your family members can at least help with food preparation, planning activities, or giving you breaks for self-care time. 

Give Yourself A Day Off

 While your loved one undoubtedly needs constant care, it’s OK to take time off for yourself now and then. You can arrange to take yourself off the caretaker's schedule on the same day every week or month. Hence, it’s a regularly scheduled day off other people can take over, or you can hire a nursing home abuse lawyer to help you draft a caretaker schedule that includes other caretakers so you can take appropriate time off for your mental health and well-being. It’s wise to include the entire family of caretakers when drafting a care schedule that works best for your loved one. 

Get Involved In An Exercise Routine

 Getting proper exercise is good for mental health and healthy living. Not only does it boost your dopamine levels so you have more happy energy, it allows you to get moving and gives you a change of scenery from your caretaker role. It doesn’t matter the type of exercise you do, be it yoga, going for a walk, pilates, or even something more involved like kickboxing and aerobics, all that matters is that you get involved in a steady exercise routine. 

 If you need a vent session at the same time as getting exercise, having an exercise buddy with you is wise. This way, you can have more motivation to work out while having someone you can talk to about your concerns as a caregiver. 

Wrapping Up 

 If you have a caregiver role, it’s wise to pay attention to your mental health so everyone has the best experience. If you need help, reach out to resources that can assist you so you can care for your loved one while caring for your mental health.

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