Date: August 21, 2020

Author: Kathleen Boziwick


As a family caregiver to an older family member, it may sometimes feel like you never have any time to yourself. That can mean neglecting your own needs. You may not be exercising, doing activities you enjoy, keeping up with friends, or even just relaxing. However, there just may be ways you can sneak a little time for yourself while being a caregiver. Here are some suggestions for doing just that.

Take Advantage of Naptime

If your aging relative takes naps, instead of spending that time cleaning the house or doing the dishes, spend it on yourself. Perhaps you could use a brief nap, too. After all, caregivers often don’t get enough sleep. You could also use that time to catch up on a favorite telephone show, scroll through Facebook, or call a friend.

Bring a Portable Hobby to the Waiting Room

Caregivers often spend a great deal of time sitting in waiting rooms with their aging relatives. Do you have a hobby that you can bring along to work on? Some hobbies you can bring along are knitting, crocheting, and puzzle books.

Exercise During Television Programs

If there is a television program you regularly watch with your older family member, you could exercise during that time. Try marching or jogging in place, doing some stretches, or lifting hand weights. While we know that exercising may not seem like a fun way to spend your time, it can keep you healthier and give you more energy. That means you’ll feel better and be more efficient in your caregiver duties.

Encourage Independence

It can be tempting for caregivers to just do everything for the older adult. After all, you’re there to take care of them, right? However, when you encourage them to be as independent as possible, you’re doing both the senior and yourself more good. Maintaining independence helps older adults with having better self-esteem and also keeps them more physically active. And, when your loved one can do more for themselves, there’s less you’ll have to do, which allows you a bit more time in your day.

Use Home Care

Many caregivers who feel overwhelmed and have little time for themselves enlist the help of home care. When you contact a home care agency to hire help, you can be certain the person coming to your older family member’s home is qualified, safe, and experienced in elderly care. You can feel comfortable leaving the senior in their capable hands while you take care of other aspects of your life.

Date: August 21, 2020