10 Ways to Deal With Home Caregiver Stress

Studies show that an estimated 21% of households in the United States are impacted by caregiving responsibilities, according to AARP.  Caregivers provide care to someone age 18 and older who is ill or has a disability. Helping to care for elderly parents, a disabled child or veteran in the home, often will cause home caregiver stress and an emotional toll. One study found that as many as one in three caregivers rate their stress level as high.caregiving stress

There are a number of reasons home caregiver stress is affecting so many households. The desires of the family or patient to stay in their own home, the expense of caregiving facilities and the concern of the quality of care are among a few things that the number of home caregivers if growing.

I personally have found myself in this situation, caring for my mother who has dementia. My brother and I share the responsibilities of her care from home after my father unexpectedly passed away early 2016. It has been a struggle to balance our lives and care. She does not want to be removed from her home and does not want strangers coming in to assist with caregiving. We are working hard to comply with her wishes but she does continue to decline. The dementia and severe depression of the loss of my dad after 62 years married is taking a toll. And in turn, causing home caregiver stress on myself and brother.

But when you’re caring for others, it’s critical that you first take care of yourself. By not doing so, you put yourself at risk of exhaustion, health problems and even total burnout.

These 10 tips will help keep your caregiver stress in check:

1.Put your physical needs first

Maintain a nutritious diet and get enough good quality sleep. Half of home caregivers who said their health had gotten worse due to caregiving also said the decline in their health has affected their ability to provide care.

2. Connect with friends

Isolation increases stress. Getting together regularly with friends can keep negative emotions at bay.

3. Ask for help

Make a list of things you have to do and seek help from friends and neighbors in your area. Even faraway relatives and friends can manage certain tasks.

4. Call on community resources

Consider asking a geriatric care manager to coordinate all aspects of your loved one’s care. Volunteers or staff from faith-based organizations or civic groups might visit, cook or help you with driving.

5. Take a break

You deserve it. Plus, your ailing family member might benefit from someone else’s company.

6. Deal with your feelings

Bottling up your emotions takes a toll on your psyche — and even on your physical well-being. Share feelings of frustration with friends and family.  Seek support from co-workers who are in a similar situation.

7. Find time to relax

Doing something you enjoy, such as reading, walking or listening to music, can recharge your batteries. Even do some meditation to soothe yourself.

8. Get organized

Simple tools like calendars and to-do lists can help you. Even consider an erasable board with the day of the week and current date with daily priorities.

9.Just say no

Accept the fact that you simply can’t do everything! Resist the urge to take on more activities, projects or financial obligations than you can handle.

10. Stay positive

Do your best to avoid negativity. This can be extremely difficult when the loved one is in physical or emotional pain. Reading motivational books or listening to sound tracks can help a lot.

Along with the physical and emotional stress of home caregiving often the financial stress can play a major role. It may even prevent the caregiver from leaving the home to work due to the necessary care of their loved one. Consider a work from home business where you can work any time, any hours you want. This is very possible to be successful and relieve your financial burdens. I have been working with a program that has resolved this situation and I would love to share it with you. This may not be a fit for you and I understand, no problem. Take a look and see if this can help ease your stress level. Click Here Now!

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Improving the Lives of Others.

Donna M Sands, SandsOnlineVentures@gmail.com

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