Serving as a family caregiver for an elder loved one is truly an act of love. And even though it may certainly be rewarding, it may also quickly become overwhelming, as a result of:
- The physical difficulties of a chronic health problem
- The cognitive challenges of Alzheimer’s disease
- Feeling helpless and not able to fix the older adult’s challenges
- Feeling overworked without sufficient time for taking care of yourself
- And many other contributing factors
It is imperative for family caregivers to set aside regular time every day to rest and recharge, and to help combat stress. Nevertheless, prioritizing time to do so might seem impossible.
At Abby Senior Care, we know how much stress family members struggle with when a loved one is in need of assistance. Our services benefit not just the seniors we take care of, but the rest of the family as well, allowing family caregivers to take much-needed time away. This advice for family caregivers from our senior care professionals can help alleviate caregiver stress and restore peace:
- Take deep breaths. Breathing deeply is an excellent way for you to quickly calm an anxious heart. And you can practice it anywhere, at any time! Simply settle into a cozy, seated position, breathe in through your nose while counting silently to five. Then, release your breath through your nose, again while silently counting to five. Repeat as frequently as required until you’re feeling more peaceful.
- Think intentionally. Focusing on the problems occurring at the moment is a natural reaction, but with some training, it is possible to learn to intentionally shift your thinking to something more constructive. In the midst of a difficult event, the positives may not be easy to find, but they’re there nonetheless – even if it is something as seemingly insignificant as the beauty of the bouquet of flowers on the table, the lyrics to your favorite song, or the smell of banana bread baking in the oven.
- Be thankful. Meeting the care needs of another person is significant work, work that is worthy of respect. It is work that you’d thank others for doing, but are you taking time to appreciate yourself? Often, family caregivers beat themselves up in replaying all the mistakes they have made. Instead, recognize the things you are doing that undoubtedly help the one you love, and value yourself for the kindnesses you’re showing.
- Work out frequently. Physical exercise produces endorphins that give a natural boost to our mental outlook. If it is hard to reserve time for a full exercise session, it is just as effective to split your exercise time up into smaller activities throughout the day. This might be as simple as parking the car in a spot that’s farther from a store entrance, choosing the stairs as opposed to the elevator, or peddling on a stationary bike while chatting with a loved one.
The simplest way to lower stress and achieve a healthier life balance, however, is by working with a reliable in-home care agency, like Abby Senior Care. It is not always easy asking for help; but caregiving is never supposed to be a one-person job.
Ongoing, regular respite care permits family caregivers to take routine time away for themselves, which in turn causes them to be more patient and effective caregivers – a significant benefit for senior loved ones. And, it provides seniors with an added opportunity to socialize, with a fully experienced, kind and friendly caregiving companion.
We’re always just a call away, and here to assist you and the senior in your care any time with award-winning in-home respite care solutions. Contact us at 303-699-8840 to learn more about our award-winning Denver elderly home care. Visit our Service Area page to learn more about the communities we serve.