Caregiver stress: Tips for taking care of yourself
Caring for a loved one strains even the most resilient people. If you're a caregiver, take steps to preserve your own health and well-being.
As the population ages, more caregiving is being provided by people who aren't health care professionals. These informal caregivers provide 80 percent of long-term care in the United States.
A caregiver is anyone who provides help to another person in need, such as an ill spouse or partner, a disabled child, or an aging relative. However, family members who are actively caring for an older adult often don't self-identify as a "caregiver." Recognizing this role can help caregivers receive the support they need.
While family caregiving can be a genuinely rewarding experience, the caregivers often face common challenges that l
eave them overwhelmed, anxious and/or intimidated by their duties. Some of these challenges a family caregiver faces are:
Managing their time. Caregivers often find they have less time for themselves and other family members. They often spend so much time on caregiving duties that they end up sacrificing the things they enjoy, like hobbies or vacations. Or, they have trouble balancing work schedules around caregiving.
Emotional and physical stress. 22% of caregivers report that their health has gotten worse as a result of caregiving. Caring for chronic conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease seem to...
My mother used to say, “Your Golden Years begin the day your youngest child graduates from high school, and they end the day your health goes to hell.” This stage can also come to an abrupt end when a loved one suffers an injury or is diagnosed with a long-term, progressive and degenerative disease, and you become their caregiver.
According to a 2015 study, there were 43.5 million people in the United States who provided care for a loved one in the previous year. Surprisingly, the average age was 49––just about the age when most of us begin to anticipate enjoying our Golden Years.
The Challenges of Caregiving
Caregivers experience tremendous stress and countless losses as a loved one’s physical and cognitive abilities decline. You...
A variety of stress management techniques are available that involve learning how to control your body’s responses to stress or anxiety. These techniques involve learning to consciously relax your body through a variety of techniques, such as meditation or guided imagery. As with any new skill you are trying to learn, daily practice is important to acquiring mastery of these techniques.
The beauty of practicing meditation is that it allows you to “let go” of every day worries and literally “live in the moment.” People who meditate regularly report improvements physically, mentally, and spiritually. To begin a meditation practice, you will need to find a quiet spot, away from the phone, television, friends, family, and o...
Because isolation is very common when caring for a love one it's important to be sure that caregivers take steps to incorporate social wellness during the care giving process.
No man is an island unto himself, which explains why people feel the need to communicate, interact and form strong relationships with other people. With social wellness, a person will have the capability to socialize, be confident and function normally with other people. The lack of social wellness often leads to anti-social behavior and causes inability to adjust in social surroundings. Read on to find out how to create social wellness.
*What is Social Wellness?*
Social wellness refers to the relationships and connections we have with others. It also refers...
Stress is a part of our lives and there’s no getting around it. But as much as we all live with it, many of us misunderstand some of the basics about stress and its role in our lives. Why does this matter?
Stress has been indicted in many research studies in exacerbating very real physical illnesses — everything from heart disease to Alzheimer’s disease. Reducing stress can not only help you feel better, but also live a longer, disease-free life.
Let’s look at some of the common myths surrounding stress.
Myth 1: Stress is the same for everybody.
Stress is not the same for everybody, nor does everyone experience stress in the same way. Stress is different for each and every one of us. What is stressful for one person may or may not b...