Self-Care for Caregivers: No, You’re Not Being Selfish

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Failing to put your health first could negatively affect your ability to care for others, especially an elderly parent. Therefore, you need to practice good self-care to prevent mental and physical exhaustion. Take a look at some of the reasons caregivers may think self-care is selfish and explanations as to why it’s vital to their health.

Self-Care Is a Necessity, Not a Luxury

Some caregivers feel as though going to the spa and having a massage or a session in the sauna is a form of pampering when it’s actually self-care. The stress from caring for an aging loved one, combined with other personal and professional commitments, could be a lot to handle, causing anxiety levels to rise. If you don’t manage the anxiety properly, it could lead to severe health issues. While you’re having a massage, your body will relax. A sauna session could clear the toxins out of your brain and body, decreasing your stress levels. After a spa day, you can return to your caregiving duties feeling refreshed. 

Family caregivers are often at high risk for burnout, and a home caregiver can provide a much-needed source of support. When you search for a professional caregiver, you’re looking for someone with experience in senior care who’s compassionate and trustworthy. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care services. Des Moines families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

Being Healthy Makes You a Better Caregiver

Joining the gym and staying committed to a weekly exercise routine isn’t selfish. It keeps the brain and body in good shape. If you fail to get the exercise your body needs, you increase the risk of becoming obese and developing diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension. Exercising can keep your heart muscles healthy and build bone density. As a result, you may be able to take on caregiving duties with more ease, especially if your loved one has mobility limitations and needs your assistance navigating the home. Working out also triggers a relaxation response in the body that can prevent stress from damaging your quality of life. 

Family caregivers don’t have to risk their own wellbeing to make sure their loved ones continue to receive high-quality care. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Des Moines, IA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

You Deserve to Reward Yourself

Family caregivers often forget to nurture themselves. Instead, they look for approval and praise from their elderly parents as well as other family members and close friends. However, the recognition family caregivers deserve doesn’t always come, which is why self-applause is okay. Treat yourself to a nice dinner for one, send yourself flowers, go on a shopping spree, or take a day trip to unwind. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed for practicing self-love. You deserve the praise you crave, even when you don’t receive acknowledgment from others. Self-appreciation can prevent deep levels of unhappiness, resentment, and lack of confidence.

Asking for Help Benefits Both You and Your Loved One

Asking others to help with your loved one’s care isn’t selfish. It shows you want to stay in good physical and mental shape and enhance your caregiving skills. When you take on everything without assistance, you’re putting both your health and your parent’s wellbeing in jeopardy. Having friends and family help out more or using respite care services doesn’t make you a selfish person. You need breaks to prevent caregiver burnout. Overworking your body could lead to severe health issues, so always prioritize your needs.

It’s crucial for family caregivers to take good care of themselves, and if you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, remember you don’t have to manage everything all on your own. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Des Moines senior home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438.

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