There’s bad news and there’s good news. The bad news is that caring for an aging loved one has no guide book. The good news is that you are not alone and you certainly aren’t the first person to wonder how on earth you can fit all a caregiver does into 24 short hours each day.
While we don’t have all the answers, we can certainly provide some guidance. There are some life lessons you can take with you as you forge your way through your caregiving journey.
To start, here are five inspirational quotes for senior caregivers:
- “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted”-Aesop
Remember what you are doing has worth and value. Some days may be harder than others, but no matter what happens, your care makes your loved one rich in life.
- “Love begins by taking care of the closest ones—the ones at home”—Saint Theresa
Whether the senior you care for lives with you or lives across town, they are the closest to you. Caring for them sets a loving foundation in your life that others will surely notice (and even envy!).
- “Effective health care depends on self-care; this fact is currently heralded as if it were a discovery.”—Ivan Illivich
The idea of self care is often portrayed as a new-fangled luxury when in reality it’s just basic life management. You don’t need to buy a $40 bath bomb or go on a rare juice cleanse to take care of yourself—you just need to make sure your life is a healthy one. Eating right, sleeping well, and having patience with yourself are some of the best places to start.
- “You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind” –Joyce Meyer
Turn that frown upside-down! Take time throughout the day to laugh with your senior loved one and have fun together. This will make both of your lives full and happy!
- “Everything has been figured out, except how to live”—Jean-Pal Sartre
You are not a failure if you don’t have everything figured out and perfect; that just means you are human. Enjoy the fact that not everything has to (or even can) be exactly right. No one will hold it against you if you make a mistake or take a break.
Be kind, be patient, and be forgiving; these are the lessons that come up again and again for caregivers. Hopefully, these wise words can offer up some support as you attempt to balance all three. Overall, what’s important is the fact that you can absolutely be a good caregiver. So relax, enjoy what you’re doing, and listen to the wisdom around you!
Patience is by far the biggest challenge. I have seen both sides of the spectrum watching our Members and their families. It is all about attitude. Barking orders at your aging loved one actually increases everyone’s irritability. Patient caregivers, watching and carefully guiding their slow-moving spouse or parent to the car, have a very calming influence. Remember to treat everyone how you would like to be treated.
Naperville Senior Center Adult Day Services is designed to give your senior loved one a ‘home away from home’ and give the caregiver, you, time to yourself. Whether you need time to be more productive at work, help your kids with their homework, get them to after-school activities or take time for yourself, we provide a safe, fun environment for our Members.
Each day our Members spend time socializing, verbalizing, improvising, evangelizing, visualizing, exercising, having fun, and a host of other activities to provide mental and physical stimulation.
Call to action: to learn more about how NSC can provide a respite for you and a great social environment for your loved one, contact our Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, Theresa, at 630.857.3017. You can also schedule a tour to see what they have to offer and understand the Naperville Senior Center experience, “Home Away From Home.”