February 9, 2023 by Dean Bellefeuille

bored caregiver

It’s hard to admit but even harder to avoid. Feeling bored with your role as family caregiver is a common response to spending so much time together, completing the same tasks, engaging in the same activities, and running out of interesting conversation topics. This common sentiment is not related to your feelings for the person in your care. In fact, they may be feeling just as bored with a stagnant routine.

How can you breathe new life into your caregiving relationship? Our care team has some ideas for you to try.

Break Out of the Norm. Take a mental walk through the routines you’ve established, and think of ways to implement changes. Are you preparing the same bowl of oatmeal each morning? Try doing a quick search on the internet or pull out a couple of cookbooks and find an interesting new recipe to try with the person in your care once a week. Instead of those morning talk or game shows, turn off the TV and take a walk together or break out the board games. Drive a new route to the doctor’s office or hair salon to see some new sights. How about a stop at the park on the way home?

Plan Something Fun. Brainstorm ideas for fun outings or new experiences you can plan with your loved one. These can be as simple as trying a new café in town or planning a trip to a destination they have always wanted to visit but never had the chance. If traveling with complex needs seems too daunting, consider bringing along a professional caregiver from At Home Independent Living! Our professional caregivers are always here to help make dreams come true for the families we serve.

Tap Into Your Imagination. Remember creating imaginary worlds of play as children? It can be still be fun as an adult and an effective strategy to overcome caregiver boredom. As you’re waiting in the doctor’s office, take a look at the people around you, and try to imagine an extraordinary story of their lives. Challenge your loved one to do the same, and then share your stories on the drive home. Practicing mindfulness is another way to fully engage in the moment, rather than dully observing from the sidelines. Use all five senses to experience your surroundings in a new and interesting way, which does not take any additional time from your busy schedule, only your mind.

Celebrate! Don’t wait for a birthday, anniversary, or major holiday to make life more interesting and fun! There are so many unique and lesser-known holidays to choose from, such as National Polar Bear Day, Tell A Fairy Tale Day, Toast Day, and Comfy Day – and those are just a handful of reasons to celebrate in the last week of February! Or why not designate your own? All it takes is a little creative thinking as you look around your environment, pick something you’re thankful for, and think of ways to make it the star of the day.

Let At Home Independent Living help by providing breaks from care that give you both the opportunity for experiences outside of each other’s company, allowing for interesting conversations to have when you’re together again. To learn about options for respite care, in-home support for seniors, or to schedule a free in-home consultation, contact us at (315) 579-HOME (4663)!