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How to Handle Stress When Caring for the Elderly
Taking care of an aging family member often requires a tremendous amount of time and energy. You may really want to take care of your aging relative or feel an obligation to do so. Either way, the day-to-day and minute-to-minute care needed can be both physically and emotionally draining. Caregiver stress is a very real thing. If you’re not careful, you might end up falling ill yourself. Some studies show that more than 50% of all caregivers suffer from depression and other caregiver-related stress symptoms.
High stress levels may hinder your ability to care for your loved one. The following tips will give you ideas about how to reduce stress and improve your personal well-being, in addition to advice about turning for help and when it may be time to consider all your in-home care options.
Even if you are caring for someone, you should still make time to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day. You can do simple exercises like walking, running, or riding your bike around your neighborhood, dancing in your living room, or swimming. You may also opt to learn stress management exercises that promote relaxation and inner balance like tai-chi or yoga.
Take a Minute to Breathe
As the primary caregiver in your family, you probably feel overwhelmed with all your responsibilities. Many times feeling like you don’t even have a minute for yourself, but that’s not true. You can always spare a few minutes for yourself to take a breather. Whenever you feel like everything is spiraling out of control, take a minute to sit still, close your eyes, and breathe deeply.
Take Care of Yourself
When caring for somebody else, it’s important to care for yourself too. Indulging in fast foods won’t do your health any good, so make sure to eat healthy foods instead. Sleep deprivation causes various health problems, sleep as much as you can whenever you can. Refrain from using your caregiving responsibilities as an excuse to skip your annual and other necessary check-ups. Who will take care of your aging loved one if you are also sick yourself?
Join a Support Group
Find yourself an elderly caregiver support group where you can get the validation and encouragement you need. This group of people know what you are going through as they are likely in the same situation as you. They can give you practical advice on how to deal with difficult situations and how to deal with caregiver stress.
Ask for Help
Many caregivers have to deal with work and caring for their loved ones at the same time. So, it’s no wonder many of them experience burnout and stress. It is not wrong to ask for some help from friends and other family members. You need time to take care of yourself too, after all. Another option would be to hire a professional for your senior home care needs. By hiring a highly trained caregiver from Capital City Nurses, you not only ensure the safety and well-being of your loved one, but also yours.