Did you know that 40% of Americans serve as the caretaker for an adult family member? Serving as a caretaker can be both a rewarding and a stressful role. This past year, living through a pandemic, has added some unique challenges for caretakers. If you are a caretaker, or know a caretaker, let us review some tips for caring for an older American, during the pandemic.
- Keep a routine. The pandemic resulted in people across the nation staying home much more often than usual. As a caretaker, this likely removed many of the activities you may have done with the older person that you care for, such as going to the store, attending religious services, or taking them to meet with friends. Unscheduled time at home can feel endless, even leading to feelings of fatigue in both the caretaker and the person being cared for. Keeping a routine, even if staying home, can lend structure to the day, allowing you to get more things done, while the predictability provides comfort to the person being cared for.
- Get outside. Nature can be healing. Even if parks and other outings are off limits, including a walk around the neighborhood, as part of your daily routine can be invigorating.
- As more older people get vaccinated, consider increasing socialization. As older Americans are being vaccinated, you may be able to start arranging small-scale social gatherings for the person you are caring for with other vaccinated people. Consider starting out slowly. As people may have been at home for over a year, you may find that the person you are caring for will tire in a social setting much more quickly than they used to.
- Take care of yourself. Even without a pandemic, being a caretaker can be an extremely taxing job. It can be important to make sure you get adequate rest, and try not to feel guilty about asking other family members to pitch in.
- Enjoy. If we have learned anything over the past year, it may be that life is precious and the future can change rapidly. Remember to try and cherish the time you have with your loved one. Sit for a cup of tea or coffee and listen to your loved one’s stories. You may always be happy to have these memories.
Hopefully, these tips will assist in adding quality to both you and the life of the person you are caring for. These can be equally important parts of the equation. For assistance in navigating legal matters related to caring for an elder loved one, please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment.