No matter how hard you try, getting sick is something you can’t always avoid. In fact, most people get sick at least once a year, and family caregivers for aging adults tend to be even more vulnerable to sickness.
A busy schedule, fatigue, stress, and a tendency to not following healthy living practices such as getting enough sleep and eating well can put you at risk of getting sick, and possibly be having a more difficult time recovering. If you are feeling only slightly sick or telling yourself you’re under the weather, you may think you can just keep going with your regular routine, and eventually, you’ll get better. Not only can this make it much harder for you to recover, But it can also put your senior at serious risk.
Seniors are at higher risk for getting sick than younger people, and their bodies have a much harder time fighting the germs they contract.
This means something that seems only minor to you can develop into something very dangerous, and even life-threatening, for your aging parent. If you are sick, even if you just feel like it’s something minor, and you continue your usual care routine with your parents, you are putting them at risk.
Through the basic contact of care efforts, you can spread your germs to your parent. This can then develop into a potentially serious issue, such as the flu, or pneumonia. Keep in mind most illnesses are contagious for days before and days after you experience symptoms, so you may still be at risk if your children have been sick, or if you have only recently started feeling better.
You may worry about getting sick and you’re senior not having the care they need.
This is where respite home care can be invaluable. A respite home care services provider will step in on a temporary basis when you are unable to give your parent their usual care. This care provider will follow their schedule as much as possible, giving your parent fully customized care services for the time it takes for you to rest and heal.
This care means you can focus on getting better, which means you will recover faster, and your parent will stay safer from these germs. Respite care can also be valuable when you simply need some time away from your care efforts, such as if you need to do something with your children, if you are stressed and need some time to yourself, or you want to go on a much-deserved getaway with your partner.
When it comes to being an effective caregiver for your aging parent, it is important to remember that caring for yourself is just as important as caring for them.
The stress, busy schedule, and potentially unhealthy lifestyle you are likely to experience during your caregiver journey can make you much more susceptible to getting sick. Taking the time to take care of yourself, including getting rest and relaxation, eating a healthy diet, and exercising, all protect your well-being, and ensure you can continue to be the highest quality caregiver possible for your senior.
Starting home care can be an effective way for you to reach this goal. By relying on an in-home senior care services provider to handle some of your parents care needs, you can take more time for yourself, practicing beneficial self-care while also knowing your senior has everything they need to manage their challenges and live their best life.