"My husband is so used to us caring for both of our parents, he's forgotten we used to have a life, too. We do their laundry, food shopping, cooking. We manage their finances and let them continue to use their banks which are different from ours. I go to every doctor appointment with them and he drives them everywhere. We're always exhausted and never have time for ourselves. It's like a prison - our parents are the bars."
Caregivers: What else is new? Caregivers never have any personal time.
Me: Keep reading. It's definitely time to rethink the status quo.
- Stresses of family caregiving for persons with dementia can impact a person's immune system for up to three years after their caregiving ends, increasing their chances of developing a chronic illness themselves.
- More than 1 in 10 (11%) of family caregivers report that caregiving caused their physical health to deteriorate.
- Family caregivers experiencing extreme stress may age prematurely, losing as much as 10 years off their lives.
Caregivers: "OMG, I've tried managing my time a dozen times. It's not worth the aggrevation!"
Me: Yes, it is. Try these simple steps:
- Shop for Mom only when you’re shopping for yourself. Cook extra portions of the meals you prepare at home, freeze them and transfer to Mom’s freezer when you visit.
- You don’t have time for different banks’ procedures and locations. Move Mom’s accounts to your bank, ask them to change statement dates to coincide with yours, and handle Mom’s banking when you do yours. Mom may object of the grounds she’s been banking at the same location for 20 years, but the reality is she’s not banking at all—you are.
- If you’re comfortable with the Internet, save time with online bill paying and banking.
- Stop performing non-essential services for those who have more time than you do. Example: if you pick up after your children/spouse, make today the first day they take over that chore.
- If you pick up prescriptions, change to a mail order prescription service or a drugstore that delivers.
- Ask other caregivers for their best time-saving tips.
- Motivating Rule: time you save is your personal time to use as you wish.
Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight, & Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©