When you are a family caregiver for your elderly parent, the care they need is often at the forefront of your mind. It is important to remember, however, that their needs are not the only important thing in your life. In order to continue giving them the care they need, to be there for the others who rely on you, and also to protect your health and well-being, you must also take care of yourself. One of the most important things you can do, and something often neglected by family caregivers, is getting enough rest. Regular sleep is critical for physical and mental functioning, emotional well-being, and long-term health. It can seem as though getting enough sleep is impossible when you have a busy schedule, but it is critical for you to take steps to get the sleep you need, and insure it is good quality.
Use these tips to help you get enough rest during your caregiver journey:
- Establish a sleep schedule. Good sleep hygiene means going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. This helps to teach the body when to sleep, and helps create deeper, more restful sleep. Follow this schedule every day, even on weekends and when you do not need to do anything in the morning.
- Establish boundaries with your senior and others. Let people know when you are "available", and when you should only be reached if there is an emergency. This can help to give you more time in the evening to relax and unwind, which can lead to better sleep.
- Have a nighttime routine that helps you to relax and ease into sleep. This can include taking a warm bath with aromatherapy products, putting on comfortable pajamas, and spending some time reading.
- Avoid "screen time" in the hour or two before bed, as this can be very stimulating and keep your brain awake and alert.
- Take advantage of home care so your parent can get dedicated care at night, allowing you to sleep.
Live-in home care may be a good choice for an elderly adult who needs more companionship and support, but might not necessarily need all-night awake and alert care. With this type of care, an in-home senior care services provider serves 24-hour shifts three to four days a week, and then takes the rest of the week off while a supplemental provider steps in to provide care. This care provider has the expectation of a full night of sleep, as well as personal time in the morning and evening, but is at the home with your parent to provide companionship and emergency support. This can allow you to feel more at ease and get the rest you need.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING CAREGIVERS IN CLAYTON, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.