How to reduce your caregiver stress

Monday, 18 July, 2016

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It is important for caregivers to take care of themselves. You cannot provide proper care for your loved one unless you have taken care of yourself first. That can mean de-stressing in various ways, from playing a round of golf to taking a bath, from a vacation to a cup of coffee with a friend, from taking a class once a week to taking 15 minutes a day to meditate. Whatever it is that relaxes and rejuvenates you is what you should purposefully make time for in your busy schedule. Also, eat regular and balanced meals, get enough sleep and don’t drink excessively.

If you are having a hard time with stress and feeling the blues about your loved one, it may be appropriate to see a counselor. This person will listen to you and put your situation into perspective. You are doing a good thing, even if it’s easy to forget on a daily basis. You might also want to join a support group of fellow family caregivers. These people are going through the same emotional and physical roller coaster that you are.

It may also be beneficial to seek paid help at home. A recent AARP study found that only four in 10 caregivers received paid help in the last 12 months due to the financial burden of these services. Respite care can create the time you need to do something you enjoy and to relax. Make sure to find a caregiver who is insured and bonded from a reputable company that you trust. Right at Home offers respite care and ensures that all caregivers are trained, educated, insured and bonded.

If you experience any of the following, it may be time to seek professional help: problems sleeping, increased or decreased appetite, feeling tired, apathy towards things which used to bring you joy, irritability or anger, sadness and chronic physical aches and pains. Knowing when to seek help is not only good for you, but also for your loved one who depends on you.