Caregivers Series: Living in the Here and Now For a Richer Life
Caring for an aging loved one is simultaneously rewarding and also stressful. There are many logistics to consider, from managing medications and coordinating doctors visits, to ensuring wholesome meals and time with family and friends. Additionally, there are many longer-term decisions and logistics to plan for like finances, wills, home or estate maintenance, etc.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the daily motions, it can be easy to forget to live in the moment for both you and your loved one. While some loved ones are relatively independent, others may be more reliant on their caregivers. Either way, it is important to be as mindfully engaged in your time with them as you can and plan activities that fit their lifestyle. Something as simple as a walk or trip to the movies can go a long way. It will mean the world to them, but it will also be incredibly fulfilling for you as well.
As we all know, life is too short to get too tangled in the normal, everyday worries. In an effort to ensure you are enjoying the most of your time with your loved ones, here are our tips to keeping you engaged, mindful and stress-free.
1.Don’t wait to have the difficult conversations. Life has a way of throwing us curve-balls when we least expect them. Even if your loved ones are healthy and independent, make a point to sit down and discuss the financials and other important details before you need them. This will allow you to plan in advance and keep stress at bay.
2.Maintain a routine where fun is built in. Yes, doctors visits, medications and other obligations are a given. But fun should be built in to your daily routine, too! Taking a leisurely walk around the neighborhood, having lunch outside in a park or playing a game should be part of your day. It’s a time to bond with one another and have a little fun!
3.Capture the memories and their stories. Our loved ones won’t be healthy and vivacious forever. Take some time to write down or record the stories they tell you about their younger days, and take pictures as often as you can. You’ll be so grateful to have these moments with them and to also have tangible keepsakes of them --- when they are no longer with us.