This post is sponsored by Depend, Poise, Ensure, and Glucerna but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
As I talk to more and more of my friends, I’m discovering that many of us are caring for our parents or grandparents. It’s not something we’ve talked about a lot before now, but as we get older it seems that we’re that generation now. Many of us are finding ourselves suddenly in the role of family caregiver while still raising our children.
My mom has lived with us for the past nine years and is an extremely active, retired senior citizen. At this point, the care I offer her is more about being supportive and she offers us support too. But I know that in the future this could change and we already have a few things in place that will make that transition fairly smooth for us if the time comes.
5 TIPS FOR THE FAMILY CAREGIVER
Being a family caregiver is a big deal. It’s a lot of responsibility and when we’re still raising our children, it feels like the responsibility is multiplied.
Since I’m in a position to be a caregiver at some point, I’ve been learning about ways I could balance the responsibility and care for all of the people in my life.
My family is my life and I would do anything for any of them, young and old! But I know that there are things that can make the experience better for all of us. I feel like preparation is the best way to handle it if I can!
CARE FOR YOURSELF
One thing it’s important to do if you’re a family caregiver is to make sure you’re also taking care of yourself. If you’re not caring for yourself physically and mentally, it will be harder to care for your loved ones.
Get enough sleep, make healthy food choices, stay active, and make sure to care for your mental health as well. Watch for any signs of depression or exhaustion and get help if you need it!
BE OPEN TO SUPPORT
You don’t have to walk the journey on your own. Look for support from other family caregivers. Accept help from others.
You’re not alone. You probably have a lot more support than you even realize. So be willing to ask for help and receive help. (This is challenging for me, but I know it’s important!)
Staying connected is so important and actually has two sides to it. As a family caregiver, it’s important to stay connected to your own social circles. They will support you and help you care for yourself!
Don’t be afraid to take time to hang out with your friends. Get out and do things you enjoy together. Avoid isolating yourself. Keep up with the things you love in your life. It will make you a better caregiver.
The other side of this is staying connected with your loved one. When responsibilities shift, the relationship can change a bit. There are definitely emotions involved for everyone.
Be sure that you make sure you’re also taking time to connect and enjoy time with your loved one. Don’t let stress or worry impact your relationship. I know this is easy to say and harder to do, but by focusing on intentionally spending time together and connecting, you can keep your relationship strong.
Even if you just take time to sit together.
When you’re caring for someone else, keeping track of everything might feel overwhelming. If you need to, ask someone to help you get organized.
Organize all of the medical information so it’s easy to keep updated and to find when you need it. Organize any legal documents you might have so they’re easy to access if needed.
Once you get the initial organization set up, staying on top of it will be a breeze and help you feel like you’ve got things under control. (Because you do!)
STREAMLINE CHORES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
One thing I think is a challenge when you’re a family caregiver or just caring for multiple generations is getting everything done. Working to streamline the things you have to do can help you feel like you have more time on your hands.
Shopping is always a chore where I find myself spending a lot of time. Two things that get me into trouble are shopping without a list and having to stop at multiple stores to get everything on my list.
Having options like Sam’s Club is one way to streamline shopping for all of my family’s needs, including those that older adults may need. They offer a Family Caregiver program that makes it even easier to stock up on the products you need including Ensure, Glucerna, Poise, and Depends!
While my mom is still very active and independent, she uses some of these products including Ensure so I like being able to stock up easily. The pharmacy department at Sam’s Club helps me save time! You can pick up the prescriptions you need while getting the other items, all in one place!
Sam’s Club also offers convenient options like club pick-up and free shipping in addition to in-store shopping.
If you have a larger family then you probably already know how useful Sam’s Club can be, so if you’re adding the responsibility of family caregiver to your list of roles, have no fear! Sam’s Club has your back!