“When the brain is always on alert, many things are going to happen -- you’re not going to eat well, your nutrition is going to go down,” and your overall physical, emotional and mental well being suffers, psychologist Rita Vasquez says in a New York Times article.
These are all reactions when you worry so much about someone you love so much.
It’s important to recognize how much you have done and how much you are currently doing for your loved one. A move into Assisted Living means they have a helping hand when they need it, in the comfort of their community home. This is now a time for you to evaluate your overall well being and stop doing the things that were causing your brain to always be on alert.
3 Things You Should Stop Doing
1. Trying to Be Perfect
“Each time I would leave my mom, I was determined to be more patient the next time I saw her. Then I would fall back into frustration within minutes of seeing her again. The pattern would repeat itself throughout my visits,” a caregiver wrote on A Place For Mom.
When a parent first moves to Assisted Living, it may feel like a role reversal. You may be making decisions, while they are likely feeling vulnerable. It is a new role for both of you. Expecting perfection only adds unneeded stress. Don’t be afraid to look for support and guidance at caregiver support groups, such as offered for families at Resthaven.
2. The Could-Have, Should-Have, Would-A Moments
This only adds additional guilt and stress. Making care decisions in advance, before your parent needs it, can help relieve any second guessing so both you and your parent are prepared.
Once your parent moves into Assisted Living, don’t be afraid to ask questions or for guidance. The consultants at the Assisted Living community are there to provide support for both your parent and you, the caregiver.
3. Ignoring Quality Time
Now is the time to begin enjoying quality time with your parent, instead of seeing yourself only as the caregiver. As they receive the care they need in Assisted Living, you can focus on spending quality time with your parent. Talk over a cup of tea. Attend an activity together at the retirement community. Listen to their stories about your family history. Create more memories to pass along.
Contact an experienced consultant at Resthaven at 616-796-3800 to learn more about the resources available for families of Resthaven.