Family caregivers are under a lot of stress. If you try to ignore this stress, you could greatly harm your own mental and physical health. Taking a little time for yourself now and then can help you care for yourself and be a better caregiver.
Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Here are some things you can do to reduce stress while still ensuring your loved one is well cared for.
1. Spend Time in Nature
Recent research published in Frontiers in Psychology found spending just 20 minutes outside can lower levels of stress hormones. Enjoying the soothing sights and sounds of the great outdoors has both mental and physical health benefits. It allows the body to get more vitamin D, which has been linked to a lower risk of depression and anxiety. A great thing about this suggestion is that you can do it with your loved one. On a nice day, try sitting on a patio, walking around the neighborhood, or simply opening the windows.
2. Join a Support Group
Isolation is a major source of stress for family caregivers. It can feel challenging when you don’t relate to either your peers or professional caregivers. Having someone to talk to who understands what you’re going through can be helpful. Many cities have regular support group meetings for family caregivers, or you can join an online group.
3. Take the Day Off
Everyone needs a break now and then, especially family caregivers. However, many caregivers skip breaks because they’re so focused on making sure their loved ones are cared for. While no one can provide exactly what you do, it’s important to remember other caregivers can keep your loved one safe. Consider asking for help from a friend or hiring a respite caregiver to ensure your loved one’s needs are met while you take a much-needed break.
Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Rocklin respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
4. Give Yourself Space for Processing Emotions
Being a family caregiver can be intensely emotional, with periods of heavy frustration, sorrow, and fear. Many caregivers try to hide these emotions and focus on doing their caregiving tasks. However, bottling everything up just leads to more stress. It’s important to find an outlet. Some caregivers enjoy creative options like art or music. Others find it helpful to journal, talk with a pastor, or speak to a therapist.
5. Learn to Meditate
Practicing mindfulness can help you better handle extreme stress. A simple way to do this is with meditation. Just a few minutes of meditation can relieve stress as well as a nap can. There are several meditative techniques. Some people try to empty their minds completely, while others like to focus on their breathing or picture calming images. The important thing is to find a few quiet minutes when you can meditate on your own without interruption or distraction.
Delegating your caregiving duties to a professional is one of the best ways to de-stress. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care service, Rocklin Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (916) 226-3737.