Whether you’re trying to find time for your own family responsibilities or handling a temperamental senior loved one, being a caregiver can be a stressful job. If it remains unaddressed, caregiver stress can lead to complete burnout that endangers not only your health but also the quality of the care you provide for your loved one. Here’s a short guide on how to address stress in a way that still allows you to be a valuable asset for your loved one.
Seek & Accept Help
Don’t be afraid to seek and accept help from other family members and friends while you run errands, grab a cup of coffee, or catch up on sleep. Consider hiring a respite caregiver if you’re not able to get substantial assistance elsewhere. Respite care can be scheduled on an hourly basis, and it involves having a professional caregiver come to your loved one’s home to assist him or her so you can take a break. Professional caregivers can help with a range of services, from meal preparation to personal care.
Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, El Dorado County families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.
Set Up a Shared Caregiving Schedule
Take time to set up a caregiving schedule with other family members and professional caregivers so you can tend to your other responsibilities and get regular breaks. Ask family members to let you know when they’re available so you’ll know who to call if your stress levels start to climb.
Give Yourself a Daily Break
Take at least a half hour each day to get some personal time. You can use this break to do activities you enjoy, such as reading or tending to your garden. Although it may seem like you simply don’t have enough hours in the day to spend any time on yourself, doing so can relieve stress and boost your mood. Meditating or performing deep breathing exercises, even if it’s only for 10 or 15 minutes, can allow you to go back to your caregiving duties refreshed.
Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Laugh More Often
It can be difficult to laugh when your stress levels are high. However, laughter has a tangible positive effect on the body. It triggers the release of endorphins, causes a decrease in cortisol levels, and leaves people with a more positive outlook on life. When times are challenging, caregivers should try watching episodes of their favorite sitcoms, stand-up comedy specials, or comedic movies. After a few laughs, they’re bound to feel a little better.
Share Your Feelings
Talk to other family members and friends about what you’re feeling and how you’re handling what you’re experiencing with your loved one. Another option is to join a caregiver support group. You should be able to find a listing of resources online or get a recommendation from your loved one’s doctor. If you aren’t comfortable going to an in-person support group, there are many online forums where you can discuss concerns with others in similar situations, exchange advice, and enjoy a wealth of invaluable support.
Delegating some of your caregiving duties to a professional is one of the best ways to combat stress. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elder care, El Dorado County Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (916) 358-3801 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.