How to Manage Stress When Providing Ongoing Care for a Loved One

how to manage stress

Becoming a caretaker is almost always a rewarding experience. Being able to care for a loved one who needs you is an enriching and satisfying feeling. However, taking on the role of permanent or even part-time caregiver for a family member or friend can quickly bring on feelings of immense stress, helplessness, anger, and fatigue.

It’s crucial to take the time to care for yourself when you have taken on the caregiving role. There are stress relief exercises for caregivers that, if followed, can help reduce the stress that is more than likely to occur when you feel overwhelmed and underappreciated.

Support Groups

A great way to get some stress relief in your life is to talk with other caregivers who can relate to your struggles. Online support groups offer caregivers a place to vent, cry, ask for advice, and just read about what others are going through. You may also want to talk to your loved one’s doctor to find out if there are actual support group meetings in your area that you could attend. Many churches offer support groups for caregivers, as there are generally many elderly folks in their congregations.

Pamper Yourself

Remember, being a caregiver isn’t just about the person who needs help. You need to take care of yourself so that you don’t feel like it’s all about everyone else. Take the time that you need to pamper yourself in whatever way you desire. Get a manicure, take a hot bubble bath, schedule a massage, lay out in the sun with a good book, or whatever makes you happy and relaxed. Don’t feel guilty for including “me time” in your schedule.

Ask for Help

It’s easy to want to take on the role of full-time caregiver, especially when it is a very close relative, such as your mother or father. But it is almost impossible to do everything for someone else and still take care of yourself. Asking for help from others will reduce a great deal of stress, especially when you see that you don’t have to do it all alone. Accept help from those who offer, and don’t be afraid to ask. You can’t do it all by yourself and expect not to get stressed.

Open Your World

Consulteering (see previous DYA post), taking on small consulting gigs or volunteer assignments, give you an opportunity to remain in touch with the outside world and contribute to society. It is a great, productive distraction that also keeps you fresh with stories to bring home to the person you are caring for.

Caregiver stress is a normal occurrence—even for professionals. When you’re feeling stressed, the key is to remember that you are not alone and that there are healthy ways to cope with your feelings.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for a loved one, remember that help is available. At David York Agency, we provide full and part-time support for caregivers and their families to lessen the burden of ensuring their loved one is safe, happy, and healthy.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

 

Intergenerational Caregiving: It Takes a Village

intergenerational caregiving

In recent years, Americans have witnessed a drastic change in the way we care for our elders and our children. The average family size has become smaller, and many of us find ourselves living extended distances from our aging parents. Add to the mix the increasing number of households that require multiple full-time incomes, and it isn’t hard to see the challenges one may face when trying to provide safe and effective care for both children and elderly family members. These challenges can sometimes be best addressed through the concept of intergenerational caregiving.

What is Intergenerational Caregiving?

Simply put, intergenerational caregiving is the practice of bringing together children and the elderly for mutual benefit. And the list of benefits is impressive:

  • Improved memory and physical ability for the elderly
  • Decreased depression and anxiety for both adult and child
  • Decreased behavioral issues in children
  • Improved social development in children
  • Improved self-esteem for both adult and child

Real-Life Application

There are a variety of scenarios in which intergenerational caregiving can be successful. Grandparents caring for their grandchildren at home while the parents are at work, day care centers placed in assisted living facilities, the bringing together of elderly adults and adopted or fostered children—these are just a few of the ways to successfully bridge the gap between the elderly and our children.

Whether the elderly adult is a grandparent, a close relative, or simply a member of one’s community, it’s easy to see that intergenerational caregiving provides positive benefits to both the elder adult and the child.

If you have a senior loved one who is in need of light assistance around the home, they may benefit tremendously from the company and purpose caring for a child can bring. In some situations, though, your senior may need the help of an adult. A home health aide from David York Agency can provide high-quality, personalized care either on a full-time or part-time basis.

For more information on David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.