Family caregivers can endure significant stress from all of the responsibilities and challenges that come with balancing life and caring for a loved one. According to CaregiverStress.com, “Stress can build up to actually cause caregiver distress—a situation where the caregiver may become more susceptible to other health risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and increased risk of stroke.” Caring for a loved one, especially during the transition of care, can be an extremely stressful time for the family caregiver.
In addition, being a caregiver is time-consuming and can result in feelings of stress, depression or anxiety which are all signs of what is referred to as caregiver stress syndrome. It is important to look for ways to reduce stress in family caregivers. Here are a few tips to do just that.
Ask for and accept help
Caregivers often neglect to recognize that they may need assistance with their responsibilities. Take a break from caregiving and get help with caregiving tasks by creating a list of the things that you need help with and allow a family member to assist you while you take some time for yourself.
Take time for yourself
Whether you go get your hair done or run errands, you should take some time for yourself once in a while. It is highly suggested to utilize aromatherapy to help both caregivers and seniors combat feelings of depression and stress. Consider spending time with family and friends or even go on a vacation. Seek respite care for your loved one or hire a home health agency to assist in your absence. Lastly if being a caregiver is taking its toll on you, consider enrolling your loved one into a senior center or adult day care to help give you time to take care of yourself. Sending your loved one to one of our adult day facilities will make them feel more fulfilled and engaged while giving you a break from being a caregiver.
Take care of your health
Get up and get moving! Allocate 30 minutes out of your day to hit the gym or exercise. Cook healthy meals and get a good night sleep. Services like GrubHub and Uber Eats are some options you can utilize to help. Consider finding a local support group as it is known to be one of the best ways caregivers can cope better over time. Be sure to keep up with your own doctor appointments. Caregivers often converse well with health care professionals about the condition of their care recipient; however, the caregiver will rarely talk about their own health, which is equally important. Tell your doctor about any symptoms of Caregiver Stress Syndrome and ask for a health assessment.
Consider a transition of care to renew yourself and your relationship. A transition of care is when a patient is moved from one environment to another. This can be helpful for a family caregiver who is overwhelmed with their responsibilities. By transitioning your loved one into a higher level of care as well as after they move into a community can provide you with adequate time to reduce caregiver stress.
At Poet’s Walk, a Spring Hills Memory Care Community, our goal is to enhance our seniors lives by nurturing the mind, body, and spirit through our programs, therapies and other Signature Touch Programs. To find out more about our approach to offering services that are designed to meet the needs and preferences of residents and clients, click here.