If today’s to-dos seem like more than you can possibly fit into 24 short hours, you’re not alone! Family caregivers, in many cases, are inundated with daily care tasks: personal care and hygiene, housekeeping and laundry, medical appointments, planning activities that are meaningful and enjoyable for an older adult; shopping and other errands, planning and preparing meals, just to name a few. And all of this is in addition to meeting the requirements of your own household, children, spouse, and if there’s any time left over, yourself!
We invite you to hit the pause button for just an instant, take a good deep breath, and implement these tried-and-true time management suggestions to help every day run more smoothly. Below are some effective time management tips for caregivers:
Begin the day by prioritizing responsibilities into categories, for example, what must be done today, what you would like to complete today, and what you can postpone until another day. This enables you to devote your full attention to the most pressing needs and put aside the rest. Many family caregivers find it useful to begin the day with the highest priority task to reduce stress for the remainder of the day.
With your list of plans for the day at hand, determine who is most suitable to manage them. You might be the best person to assist an older loved one with showering and getting ready for the day, while a friend may be able to take the senior to the doctor and out for lunch afterwards. Delegate.
The temptation to procrastinate can be a powerful one to overcome! Now that you have a plan in place for your day, jump in and complete the tasks that require your attention. Nevertheless, don’t forget that self-care should always be a high priority. Surround yourself with a good support system that allows you enough time to step away, which is necessary to ensure your own health is never being compromised.
Through it all, remind yourself that the work you’re doing is incredibly important. It’s very easy to get swept up around the daily details and lose sight of the big picture – the fact that all of the hard work you do for the older adult you love is producing a lasting and positive impact, while also setting a good example for the next generation.
Bearing that in mind, allow yourself some grace on the days when things do not go as scheduled, which will undoubtedly end up being the case every so often! When a setback or crisis arises and your to-dos are left undone, know that tomorrow is a new day and the tasks will be there whenever you are prepared to tackle them again.
JFS Care’s care managers and caregivers are experienced, fully trained, and ready to help you in meeting all of your family member’s needs – enabling you to take the time you need for a healthy and balanced life. Email or call us at 213-383-2273 for a consultation to learn more about options for elderly care in Los Angeles, CA and the surrounding areas. Please see our full service area.