Caring for an elderly loved one is an extremely rewarding job, but it also comes with some challenges. Even if you have the support of other family members and maintain a positive mindset, taking care of an aging parent can be difficult. You are almost certain to experience stress at various times, and you need to be able to handle it in a way that protects your physical and emotional health. To provide the best possible care for your loved one, it’s important to take care of yourself, too. To help you address and overcome caregiver stress, employ these five effective methods.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Being overworked can make caregiving stressful. You may feel like a superhero some days, but there’s nothing wrong with needing a little help when things get overwhelming. To best assess your needs, make a list of the things you can realistically accomplish, then enlist the help of trusted friends and relatives to help you finish the rest. Divide the caregiving duties up and create a schedule everyone can work with.
If you don’t have family members or friends who can help, you can hire a respite caregiver for a few hours each week. A professional caregiver can come in and provide help that’s customized for your loved one’s needs as well as your own schedule. Hiring a professional caregiver can give you more free time and allow you to take much-needed breaks to prevent anxiety, reduce stress, and avoid caregiver burnout.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Portland families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.
2. Make Your Needs a Priority
Caregiving is already stressful, and it can become even more so if you become physically ill. You must make your own needs a priority, which includes getting regular medical checkups, eating healthy foods, and getting plenty of sleep. It also helps to devote a little time each day to exercise. Even ten minutes of daily physical activity and fresh air can go a long way in terms of preventing depression, anxiety, and burnout.
3. Make Time for Friends
Caregiving can be time-consuming, but it’s important not to isolate yourself, as this can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. Spending time with your friends and other family members is essential for your mental and emotional wellbeing, so make it a point to socialize at least once a week to keep any negative emotions in check.
4. Get Organized
Many caregivers find organizational tools help them stave off stress. Use simple aids such as calendars, to-do lists, and organizers to keep track of your responsibilities. These tools can also help you keep track of important appointments, tasks, and activities throughout the week.
A professional caregiver can be a fantastic source of advice and support when it comes to organizing your caregiving responsibilities. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide senior care, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years.
5. Say No
One of the best ways to avoid stress is to not stretch yourself too thin. The quicker you accept that you cannot take care of everything by yourself, the sooner you’ll notice a reduction in your stress levels. Resist the urge to take on more responsibilities—such as projects, activities, and financial burdens—than you’re capable of handling alone.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elderly home care, Portland Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (207) 835-4849.