Caregivers in Mercer, PA: Tips for Managing Life

Who is a caregiver? It’s someone who gives of their time to provide help for someone else who is in need. Many caregivers don’t even know they are technically in the category of caregivers. They just provide assistance to someone else on a regular basis without thinking about what the terminology is. Often, the person in need is elderly or has an illness; maybe even a serious disease like cancer, dementia or a brain injury.

Some of the daily tasks that a caregiver routinely helps with are:

  • Shopping for groceries, supplies or other necessities
  • House cleaning and organizing
  • Cooking meals
  • Transportation to go places, like doctor appointments
  • Paying bills, reading and sorting mail etc.
  • Giving medicine or reminding to take medicine
  • Bathing, showering, washing hair
  • Using the toilet, cleaning up after
  • Dressing, undressing
  • Assistance with eating such as cutting up food, feeding it to them, cleaning up after

When the caregiver is not paid to give care to someone else they are called family caregivers or informal caregivers. This most commonly takes place with one spouse caring for the other spouse, or an adult child providing care for an elderly parent.

Sometimes the caregiver can experience a great deal of stress. It isn’t usually because they resent the caregiving; it’s usually because they are trying to juggle too many things at one time and can quickly feel overwhelmed. The stress just builds up and keeps building up into it reaches a breaking point. When caregiver stress is not addressed properly it can lead to burnout. That’s the point where the caregiver can no longer give of herself to help someone else.

To avoid the stress from building up, there are some things that caregivers can do which will help in the management of their busy life.

Here are some tips for managing life as a caregiver:

  • Make sure you have help, someone who can help you carry the load of caregiving. Enlist the help of another caregiver, whether family member or paid caregiver to take over a couple of days a week to give you a break.
  • Take time to continue doing some of the activities that make you happy and give your life some variety. You can’t trade all your spare time for caregiving; that’s a recipe for burnout.
  • Look for local community groups who can help you out and assist in the caregiving. A meal for seniors group can take in a meal once a week or the local Alzheimer’s society can give you some support or maybe there are some day care programs for seniors.
  • Find a respite service that can give you one weekend off per month.
  • Plan social activities to do with your friends so that you can get out and enjoy yourself.
  • Plan enough time to get the amount of sleep you need each night to feel refreshed and energized the next day.

The caregivers at CareGivers Plus are available to talk with you and your family about all of your home care needs. CareGivers Plus is an elder care agency providing quality and affordable caregiver services in Mercer, PA and the surrounding areas. Call 724-638-7110 for more information.

About Robert Devine

Robert Devine is Owner and Administrator at Caregivers Plus Home Health Care of Hermitage, PA.

Whether it’s conversation and company, or just eating a meal together, having someone to sit and visit with can help make for a happier, healthier life.

Caregivers Plus has been operating as a locally owned family-operated home care agency in Mercer County since 1994.