Easing the Stress of Caring for Your Elderly Loved One

Have you found yourself unexpectedly in the role of a caregiver? It can be a daunting experience not knowing where to start and what to do if you haven’t prepared yourself. You have to find your own footing when taking on this role and find a level of comfort that allows you to be effective. Here are a few tips that you can adopt to help stay in control.

Set up Routines

Routines are essential when you are trying to establish a bond with the person under your care. Following a routine can give your loved one a sense of comfort as well as make your life much easier. It also minimizes the frustration for your loved one of not knowing what is happening in his/her own world, which can be extremely upsetting.

Establish a Bond Built on Trust and Mutual Respect

Before you attempt to put an effective daily routine in place, establish a bond by building a solid foundation of trust and mutual respect. This process is easier if you have had a relationship with your loved one over a period of time. You can’t assume that what makes perfect sense to you will be embraced by the person you care for. Trying to establish a routine before building a bond can be a recipe for disaster. Regardless of how logical and effective your routine promises to be, you won’t have success if your loved one repeatedly bucks and sabotages it. An effective routine is always based on mutual interests and compromise, so build the trust and then the routine.

Minimize Stress for You and Your Loved One

A good routine will have a stabilizing effect on your loved one, which will make your role as a caregiver for him/her less stressful. It will help you both to remember what to do and when. Doing the same thing repeatedly can give your loved one a sense of comfort and some sort of control over his/her life.

Give the Routine Time to Work

Sometimes it can take months to build a routine so allow time to determine its effectiveness. You will gain a measure of control without taking away your loved one’s independence and an established routine will mean less stress. Remember you may face rebellion initially, but just persevere. Ultimately, it will be worth the effort whether you start a routine as an initial step or as a last resort. You’ll never know until you try it!