Possible Solutions to Caregiver Stress
According to the National Center on Caregiving, 43.5 million care for someone over 50 years of age. Adult caregivers can find the task exhausting and overwhelming, taking a toll on their physical and emotional health.
It’s important to remember to take care of yourself first. Eat nutritious meals and get enough sleep. Exercise often and get regular medical checkups. If you begin to experience symptoms of depression such as deep sadness, hopelessness or have trouble concentrating, speak to a doctor right away.
Ongoing stress can wreak havoc on your body and mind. That’s especially true for long-term caregivers. How well you manage your stress can determine how well you care for your loved one. Because your role as a caregiver is vital to that person’s wellbeing and quality of life—and equally important to you—it’s crucial that you take care of yourself to avoid burnout as much as possible.
Here are some helpful ideas to consider to:
1. Talk to a “friend” – someone to talk or vent to is always a good idea. Trust your friends or family by reaching out.
2. Join a support group of other caregivers – Talking to people in similar situations always helps. It can be empowering and often nurturing.
3. Try yoga or meditation – Learning how to relax is a skill, but with practice, can be very satisfying.
4. Get enough sleep –If you are tossing and turning at night, try drinking green tea two hours before bed or put a lavender pillow near your head.
There are positive aspects to caregiving, such as giving back to someone you love, learning about your own resiliency, and making a connection to your loved one in a profound way. Protecting your own physical and mental health – for your sake and the sake of your loved one – is key.
Brandywine Living at Brandall Estates is taking a proactive approach. They host a Caregiver Support Group the first Monday of every month from 4:00pm – 5:00pm with Karen Lake, Reflections Coordinator.
“Our ALZ support group gives the residents of our community the chance to bond over the stress of care giving,” comments Katherine Prasses, Director of Community Relations for Brandall Estates. “It’s an opportunity to listen to what others are going through, give advice to each other and learn. Conversation allows everyone to leave less stressed and able to provide better care to his or her loved ones. Knowing that you’re not alone and there are others like you dealing with the same issues, provides a sense of relief and comfort.”