As a family caregiver for an elder parent, you are definitely facing a number of new responsibilities. Merging the needs of an elderly person into your current family life, job and leisure time can be difficult and stressful. Many family caregivers report feeling extremely busy and overwhelmed when they start taking care of aging relatives. It’s common for caregivers to feel extreme stress, which can have negative health effects. The best way to make the caregiver process easier and better for everyone is to figure out ways to de-stress from time to time.
Why Are Caregivers Overstressed?
According to the American Psychological Association, more than a third of all adults in the United States are family caregivers for an elder relative. Most of the caregivers are women who are employed part time or full time. There’s a lot of benefit that comes from being a caregiver and many find it very rewarding. Making sure that a loved one is properly cared for eliminates a lot of worry and frustration at wondering whether they are safe, healthy and nurtured.
However, the interference on time and the disruption of daily life can make it hard for caregivers to cope. Physical limitations, financial strain, emotional drain and continual demands can wear down even the most dedicated family caregiver. Keeping up with their spouse, children, job and more can introduce a lot of stress into the caregiver’s life. Chronic stress can trigger many negative health effects in people, such as insomnia, weight gain, high blood pressure, mood swings, fatigue, depression, anxiety and alcohol or drug abuse.
How Family Caregivers can De-Stress
As soon as family caregivers realize that there are lots of ways that they can alleviate their stress, they can take control of their schedule and make sure they are getting the time and space they need to recharge. The hardest part may be that they feel a lot of guilt in asking for some time to themselves or in asking for help from others. However, it’s not selfish to focus on their own needs from time to time.
Here are a few ideas on how family caregivers can de-stress.
- Get plenty of sleep at night
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Take time for a hobby
- Spend time with friends and family members
- Get therapy as needed
- Hire an elder care assistant
- Use community resources for seniors, such as meal delivery
- Take regular mini vacations
Family caregivers need to learn how to ask for help and also to give up some of the caregiving duties to other people such as elder care providers. Some people are reluctant to ask for help, while others simply don’t trust other people or don’t want to bother them. However, those family caregivers that don’t ask for help until they are overwhelmed and fatigued are more likely to experience serious stress.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of Elder Care Services in Emmaus PA or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Star Multi Care Services today at (631)956-8835. We are the Right Choice for Home Health Care Services!
Carole gained most of her formal managerial training by attending Pennsylvania State University in pursuit of her degree in Health Policy and Administration. She attributes her informal training to have been acquired on a more personal level. Carole understands first-hand what families may experience when allowing a home care provider access to their home while providing care to their loved one. She was a caregiver for two of her grandparents until their passing and believes in the importance of allowing family members the opportunity to remain in the comfort of home if they so desire. Carole is also the mother of a child with multiple medical conditions who requires nursing services in the home. It is because of her personal experiences that Carole understands first-hand how important it is to manage a quality, high-integrity home care agency in which clients and families can place their trust and be confident they are receiving the best care possible. Carole also believes in the importance of giving back to the community. Therefore, she volunteers and spear-heads fundraising activities for a variety of charitable and professional organizations, namely the Pennsylvania Home Care Association, Autism Speaks and Avengers Baseball, Inc.
Carole, a resident of Lehigh County, is married and has 2 children. In her free time, she is the “team mom” for her son’s tournament baseball team, enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and friends, and is an avid NY Giants, NY Yankees and Penn State football fan. Carol is a verified Google Author