Monday Mojo for Caregivers – Overcoming Family Caregiver Stress
Hello and welcome to Monday Mojo for Caregivers. The job of caregiving, while a worthwhile and rewarding endeavor, is loaded with stress and requires an incredible amount of patience and understanding. Some loved ones require round-the-clock care, giving little rest to their caregiver.
Unfortunately, stress among caregivers is extremely common. Caregivers often try to do everything by themselves, which eventually leaves them worn out and unable to fully attend to everything they are expected to do. Furthermore, ignoring the symptoms of stress can affect physical and mental health and lead to burnout, and make it impossible for the caregiver to continue caring for their loved one.
Tips For Overcoming Caregiver Stress
Build a Support Network
One of the biggest sources of stress is the inability to escape caregiving responsibilities. Although many caregivers attempt to go it alone, they can be better caregivers if they utilize all available support services. If anyone, such as friends and family, has mentioned they will help the caregiver when needed, those names should be put on a list and utilized from time to time. Needs should be stated very specifically.
Exercise releases endorphins that can help make caregivers feel better. This doesn’t mean joining a gym – caregivers have precious little time to engage in traveling back and forth – but they may be able to fit in a brisk 10-minute walk while the one being cared for is napping. Even when providing care, caregivers can sneak in a little exercise by gardening or following along with a short exercise video.
Get Enough Sleep
The first key to a good night’s sleep is creating at least a half hour of downtime before bed. The primary caregiver may be able to enlist other family members to take over so the caregiver can unwind. Developing a sleep routine helps; going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday keeps everything on schedule. Be sure bedrooms are conducive to sleep – the room should be dark, cool, and quiet. Avoiding alcohol and caffeine encourages more restful sleep. Caregivers should not discount the power nap – if the one being cared for is napping, caregivers should consider napping at the same time.
Connecting with other people is extremely important. Most caregivers feel socially isolated and disconnected with the world as their tasks become all-consuming. If possible, the caregiver should arrange to get out for a day or even just an evening with friends. If that kind of connection isn’t possible, joining a support group may help because caregivers can connect with people who are in similar situations.
To speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center
Feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199 or email us below. Thanks for watching today’s Monday Mojo for Caregivers and we’ll see you again next week!