Whether you’ve been taking care of your aging parents for years or you’ve recently acquired the responsibility as a result of the pandemic, it’s quite the adjustment. Like most adults, you’re either an essential employee or working remotely. Most schools have opted for distance learning or a hybrid schedule meaning the kids are home more often. As you might imagine, dealing with a full house is no easy feat.
You’re stretched thin as you try to manage the needs of your kids, parents, and yourself. From holding down a job and keeping the kids focused on their studies to managing your parent’s health problems and tending to household chores, your daily routines leave you emotionally, physically, and financially drained. Though it’s easy to see why this can be a lot to deal with, allowing yourself to become overwhelmed puts your health and safety at risk.
Ways to Reduce Your Stress
Though stress is a natural response to all that’s going on, you must keep it at a minimum. Below are some practical ways to manage.
Customize Daily Schedules
Trying to keep up with the various priorities and responsibilities for several people is stressful. You can ease your frustrations by customizing daily schedules for each member of your family. You, for instance, might need to get up early to get dressed, have breakfast, and then help your parents and children do the same. Then, you’ll need to prepare to start work while the kids attend school. Your parents will need something to keep them entertained during those hours like watching television, playing games, or indulging in hobbies.
At some point, you’ll need to prepare lunch and check-in on your elderly relatives. After school, the kids will need to complete their homework and find something to keep them entertained until you’re finished work. Lastly, you’ll prepare dinner, spend quality time together, and help everyone get ready for bed (before turning in yourself). To make things easy on yourself, delegate tasks and chores to your kids and parents based on their abilities so you’re not trying to do it alone.
Think Outside The Box for Senior Needs
Depending on your aging parents’ current health, they have a lot of needs throughout the day. Not to mention a heightened risk of contracting the coronavirus. As you have other responsibilities to tend to, you’ll need to get creative to lighten the load. Here are a few things you might consider:
Home Health Aide – If you have a lot going on throughout the day, a home health aide could help you care for your elderly parents. Hiring someone on a part-time basis is affordable and convenient.
Medical Devices – If your parents have medical conditions that affect their hearing, vision, or mobility, some devices can make life easier. For instance, if your mom has trouble hearing, you can search for the best hearing aids 2020 and decide which one is best. Contact their insurance provider to get assistance with covering the costs. Then, have them delivered to your home.
Delivery Services – When it comes to medications, medical supplies, groceries, and other products, your elderly relatives may require, you can shop online and have them delivered to you. This eliminates the need to make frequent trips and reduces your risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus to your family.
Online Services – From managing your parent’s finances to paying the bills, the internet can save time on tedious tasks. Set up online accounts and manage these things from virtually anywhere on a schedule that works best for you.
Make Time for Self-Care
Though a lot is going on during these uncertain times, you cannot neglect your health and wellness. You must find time every day to care for your own needs. Beyond making sure that you’re eating a balanced diet, exercising, and getting enough rest, you also need to find time to take a break and do things that make you feel good inside and out. Whether you watch a movie, read a book, go for a walk, treat yourself to lunch, or schedule a safe visit with a few friends, these things help ease your stress and boost your mood.
Caretaker stress is very real. As more adult children have had to take on caring for their parents during the pandemic, the chances of becoming overwhelmed are exacerbated. Maintain your health and sanity by using strategies such as those discussed above to reduce stress and support a happy and healthy household.