There's no doubt about it: being a caregiver is hard work. Essentially, it's like having a second job that you're not getting paid for. While providing for your loved one is a rewarding and selfless decision, it's perfectly normal for you to get stressed out every now and then. To avoid any mental breakdowns or prolonged stress, it's a good idea to get help from others every now and then. Here are a few ways you can spread out the responsibility.
Ask your children for help
If you have children, it might be a good idea to get them involved with caring for your loved one. They don't have to do any of the bathing or other tasks that require a lot of responsibility, but they can provide entertainment for your relative that would be beneficial to both parties. Ask them to read to your loved one or watch a movie together. Chances are, they won't object to spending time with their relative.
Look for caregiver services in your area
You may be able to get additional help, information and resources from organizations in your local community. Look for senior centers, senior service organizations, family services, social workers and hospitals to ask for contact recommendations and figure out where you can get additional help.
Research short-term senior living facility options
If you ever need a break, like for a weekend or even a week to go on vacation, there are senior living facilities that offer to care for your loved one on a short-term basis. It will cost some money, but if you have the resources it may be worth it. Plus, your relative will be surrounded by plenty of social opportunities.
Invest in a medical alert device
Being on-call 24/7 is tough for anyone, but you might be able to find peace of mind with a medical alarm system from Bay Alarm. At the push of a button, your loved one will be connected to an emergency response team that can contact authorities, neighbors or family members to provide the help necessary.
Take advantage of your loved one's affiliations
If your relative is a veteran or a member in some type of organization, you may be able to get certain benefits like transportation, grants, home visits, phone check-ins or other forms of assistance. Just call and ask!