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Ways for Caregivers to Control Stress
Sep 30, 2016 by Comfort Keepers of Pensacola
Try These Quick Tips to Reduce Stress
- The best way to reduce stress is to take a break and know that your loved one is still taken care. Consider reaching out to family member to relieve you once in a while (even better on a regular basis) or use a professional in-home senior agency that provides respite care.
- Remember you are not a “perfect” caregiver – there is no such thing. You cannot do everything, all the time – it’s okay to take a break and not mentally punish yourself for doing so.
- Make a list (or two) and prioritize what needs to be done on a daily and/or weekly basis.
- For caregiving tasks, construct a matrix of tasks and days they need to be done. All professional in-home senior care agencies use a Plan of Care for the clients. Do the same for the elderly loved ones in your care. It will take the strain off of trying to remember every detail when you are actively engaged in caregiving.
- Don’t allow yourself to become isolated. Stay in contact with family and friends, make some time for yourself on a regular basis and go out and relax or just hang out at home for an hour or two – pay bills, read a book, anything that allows you to focus your energies on something less mentally taxing.
- Try to stay physically active – even a regular short walk will benefit not just your body but your mind and spirit. In line with this, try to stay on a regular eating schedule and eat a balanced diet.
- Lastly – try to keep your sense of humor and maintain a positive attitude. Yes, it’s hard work and emotionally draining but what you do is extremely valuable and way more important than you probably realize it is.
If you cannot seem to find enough time to take care of yourself, consider respite care. Either through an in-home senior care agency or a family member. If these options are not available, consider checking with local churches who often have an organized volunteer team for such a purpose. Another resource is your local Area Agency on Aging, a nationwide, county-based organization that is a clearinghouse for information related to caregiving and in-home senior care.