When you care for your aging parents, it can seem like -- and is -- a full-time job. You may help them with meals, trips to medical appointments, grocery shopping, outings, yard care, house cleaning, and even bathing or using the bathroom.
With all of this going on, it's important -- and also very difficult -- not to forget to take care of yourself. But if you don't, you may find yourself physically and emotionally unable to give them the level of care you want to provide in the first place.
Here are some common signs of caregiver stress:
- Social isolation
- Sleep problems
- Health problems
If any of these symptoms become a reality in your life, recognize them as red flags that signal your need to rest, de-stress and tend to your own life. Make sure you're eating right and getting daily exercise. Build leisure time into your schedule, and make sure you get to vent now and then to a close friend or a good counselor. Investing in your own wellbeing can be the best way to make sure your aging parents are cared for themselves.
Next, handling the stress of aging parents by accepting it. (Well, some of it.)