Taking care of a family is already such an immense responsibility, and when you are juggling those duties with tasks associated with caring for a senior parent, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Caregiver burnout can be a serious risk for children and grandchildren in this situation, but if you are a family caregiver who is feeling overly stressed by your responsibilities, there are some steps you can take to keep aging parents healthy and ease your feelings of stress.
Transitioning Senior Parents to Independent Living
If your parent is simply lonely and not in need of care, they may be better off moving into a local independent living community. In New York, the cost of independent senior living can range from $1,500 to $17,250 per month, and these communities can provide a smaller space and many social opportunities senior parents need to thrive. It may also help to understand that these independent living communities are very different from assisted living and nursing home facilities, in that they do not provide assistance with medical care or tasks of daily living. So, while an independent living community can be a favorable choice for well-abled seniors, it’s also important for family caregivers to be able to recognize when seniors need more care.
Incorporating Simple Exercises into Daily Care Routines
Seniors need regular exercise, like walking, to avoid falls, reduce disease, and fend off other physical ailments that can lead them to need more dedicated care from family members. If you can find time in your day, try to accompany your senior parent on daily walks to provide these health and wellness benefits. If you cannot squeeze a walk into your daily care routine, or if the weather is not favorable for outdoor activities, you can also help your loved one stay healthy with safe indoor exercises. Stretching, working out in a home gym, and following along with fitness videos can be a simple way for both busy moms and aging parents to stay in shape. And if your parent feels like getting out of the house, he/she can always burn calories by walking around a mall or museum, swimming at an indoor pool, or looking for indoor fitness classes.
Utilizing Meal & Grocery Delivery Services for Daily Meal Prep
In addition to providing your aging parents and young children with daily care, you also need to provide them with daily nutrition. That can be a major challenge for busy moms, especially when you cannot seem to find the time to even visit a grocery store, let alone prepare a healthy meal for your extended family. If you have a smartphone, however, you may be able to solve your shopping and meal prep dilemmas by using various food delivery services. For moms who still want to cook meals from scratch, local grocery delivery may be the best option for keeping seniors healthy and other family members happy. If you have a little more room in your budget, and less time in your day, family-friendly meal kits may be a more convenient choice.
Teaching Children About Responsibility By Having Them Help With Care
If you have older children, there’s no reason why they cannot contribute and help you care for your senior parent, as well as your household. For example, you can always ask your children to help with cooking, which will lighten your load and also provide a practical way to enhance their academic skills. Children who cook are learning valuable lessons in math, science, reading comprehension, and communication, in addition to gaining a skill that will better prepare them for adulthood. You can also write out a daily chore list that includes tasks that will make it easier for you to care for grandparents who live in your home, but be sure that the chores you assign to your children are appropriate for their age and abilities.
Living with senior parents when you are also trying to raise a family can come with unique challenges. If you can navigate these challenges and find ways to make your life easier, while keeping an aging parent healthy, you both can make the most of a multigenerational home.
Written by guest author, Karen Weeks