A Simple Solution for Decreasing Family Caregiver Stress

A Simple Solution for Decreasing Family Caregiver Stress

As the population increases, a need for more caregiving is being given by people and some of them are not even healthcare professionals. Studies say about 1 in 3 adults in the United States alone provides care to older people as informal caregivers.

A caregiver in San Antonio provides care to those in need of help, such as an ill spouse or partner, an ageing relative or a child with a disability.  However, the term “caregiver” is not the identification of family members caring for an older adult use. They are comfortable to be recognized as giving the role of support and care as caregivers can receive.

Caregiving can be rewarding yet stressful. For some caregivers, being available and ready to help a loved one in need is a core value and something that is provided willingly.

However, shifting in roles plus the emotion you invest is almost certain. When caregiving, it is natural to feel upset, frustrated, impatient, exhausted, alone or sad. It is common to experience the emotional and physical stress of caregiving, thus the Caregiver stress.

Caregivers can be vulnerable to changes in their own health. Such risk factors of caregiver stress include:

  • Having fewer years of formal education
  • Being a female
  • Having depression
  • Living and caring with the person you’re caregiving
  • Longer hours you spent caregiving
  • Lack of coping skills
  • Lack of problem-solving skills
  • Caregiving as a last option for career

A family caregiver may be so focused on the loved one that sometimes owns health and well-being are compromised. Watch out for these signs of caregiver stress:

  • Constantly feeling worried or overwhelmed
  • Frequently feeling tired
  • Gaining or dropping weight
  • Lost interest in usually enjoyable activities
  • Feeling blues
  • Frequent headaches, body pains or other physical problems
  • Drug and alcohol abuse including prescription medications

Dealing with too much stress over a long period of time can harm your body and mental health. As a family caregiver, you are most likely to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. You may be experienced not getting enough sleep or physical activity. Have a balanced diet which decreases your risk of medical problems such as obesity, diabetes or heart disease.

Simple Strategies For Decreasing Family Caregiver Stress

Caregiving can be emotionally and physically demanding. This job involves strain that even the most resilient person can be affected. It is important that a family caregiver take advantage of the many available resources and tools available to be assisted when providing care for your loved one. Keep in mind, if you will not take care of yourself, then you won’t be an effective care for anyone else.

Tips to manage family caregiver stress:

  • Accept help from time to time. Prepare a list of ways that others can help, and let the helper choose what he or she prefers to do. For example, a family member may offer to take the person for a walk for a couple of times a week. Or a close friend or family member may run an errand or cook for everyone.
  • Believe that you are doing your best. Focus on what you can provide. It is normal to have a guilt feeling sometimes but understand that no caregiver is a perfect caregiver. Believe that you are giving the best care and making the best decision at any given time.
  • Set goals. Do one thing at a time. Set realistic goals. A large task can be broken down into the smaller task so you can do one thing at a time. Prioritize and make lists of a daily routine. Saying no to requests can be draining, but it can also save you from draining your energy.
  • Keep in touch. Stay connected and find out more about caregiving resources available in your community. Some communities have specific classes or short courses about your loved one’s disease or the condition he or she is facing. Getting connected with caregiving services such as transportation, food or grocery delivery or housekeeping can be available.
  • Get connected socially. Make effort to stay connected with family and friends who can give you positive emotional support. A lot a time each week for connecting, even if it’s just a walk or a quick coffee break with a friend.
  • Set personal health routine. Set goals to maintain and establish sleeping habits, seek time to be physically active, eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of liquid or water.

Oftentimes, sleeping is an issue with caregivers. Lacking quality sleep over a long period of time can cause serious health problems. Talk to your doctor if you have trouble getting a good night sleep.

  • Visit your doctor. See your doctor and get recommended vaccinations and screenings. Do not forget to tell your doctor that you are a caregiver. Mention if there is any concerns or symptoms you may have. Do not hesitate.

It may be difficult to leave your loved one in someone else’s’ care, but having a break can be one if the best thing you can do for your self-care. Most communities have some type of care called ‘respite care’ available, such as:

Respite Care

  • In-home respite care. A healthcare assistance that come to your home to provide nursing services and companionship or both.
  • Adult care programs and centers. Some adult care centers provide care for both young children and adults, both may spend time together.
  • Short-term nursing homes. Some nursing homes, memory care homes and assisted living homes accept people in need for short stays while family caregivers are away.

If you are a family caregiver and having a hard time asking for help, this concern can lead to isolation, frustration and depression. But, rather than struggling on your own, take advantage of your local resources for caregivers. You may check out the Eldercare locator or local Area Agency Aging (AAA) to know more about the services in your community.

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