Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stress Relief Tips for Caregivers

Constant caregiving, while important, can take a serious toll on the person attending to their loved one’s needs. Many caretakers end up neglecting their own health as they make sure that their senior is physically and mentally well. While caretaking can become stressful, there are a few strategies that a person can use to relax without neglecting their duties.

Don’t focus on what you can’t provide

Many caregivers continually beat themselves up, striving for perfection and feeling disappointed when they can’t achieve it. Remember that the house doesn’t need to be perfectly clean at all times, and no one will mind eating leftovers. As long as your senior is clean, taking their medication, and receiving proper nutrition, that’s all that matters. There is no need to strive for perfection as a caregiver.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

When it comes to care for seniors, there is no shame in asking for assistance. Many caregivers try to take on the full burden of the task on their own, and end up burning themselves out. If you’re trying to manage a career, a family, and your senior’s needs too, consider bringing in an elder care professional to help out. This greatly reduces stress, while ensuring that the senior still has everything they need to feel well.

Seek support

Providing care for elderly family members is not an easy task, and a person can quickly feel alienated if the people they interact with on a daily basis can’t relate to the situation they’re in. Because of this, many people find that support groups are a useful and healthy outlet for them. They allow that family member to share stories and strategies with other caregivers. Instead of feeling as if they’re the only one dealing with the responsibility of caring for an elderly loved one, they can commiserate with others going through a similar situation.

Focus on self-care

It’s important that a caregiver builds in time each day that is solely for themselves. Whether it’s time to read a book, take a yoga class, or have lunch with a friend, these physical and mental breaks are a key part of that individual’s mental health.

Focusing on self-care is a must for any caregiver. In many instances, the best way to do this is to rely on professional caregiving services. This way, there are no sacrifices made to the senior’s health, but the caregiver feels refreshed and re-energized. 

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