Serving as a family caregiver for a senior loved one is truly an act of love. Even though it might certainly be rewarding, it can also quickly become stressful, as a result of:
- The physical complications of a chronic health condition
- The cognitive challenges of Alzheimer’s disease
- Feeling helpless and unable to fix the senior’s challenges
- Feeling overburdened without the time for caring for yourself
- And a number of other contributing factors
It is very important for family caregivers to set aside scheduled time every day to rest and recharge, and to help reduce stress. Nevertheless, prioritizing time and energy to do this may seem impossible.
At Anthem Home Care, a local provider of Corpus Christi senior services and home care in the surrounding areas, we know how much stress family members take on when a loved one is in need of care. Our services benefit not just the seniors we take care of, but the rest of the family as well, allowing family care providers to take much-needed time away. These caregiver support tips from our home care specialists can help decrease caregiver stress and restore peace:
- Breathe deeply. Deep breathing is a fantastic way for you to immediately calm an anxious heart. And you can do it anywhere, anytime! Simply settle into a comfortable, seated position, breathe in through your nose while counting silently to five. Then, breathe out through your nose, again while silently counting to five. Repeat as many times as needed until you are feeling more peaceful.
- Think intentionally. Concentrating on the issues occurring at present is a natural instinct, but with some training, it is possible to figure out how to intentionally shift your thinking to something more positive. In the middle of a difficult event, the positives may not be easy to find, but they are there nonetheless – even though it may be something as relatively trivial as the beauty of the bouquet of flowers on the table, the lyrics to your favorite song, or the aroma of blueberry muffins baking in the oven.
- Be thankful. Meeting the care needs of another person is very important work, work that is deserving of gratitude. It’s work that you would thank others for doing, but are you taking time to thank yourself? Often, family care providers are hard on themselves when replaying all of the mistakes they have made. Instead, notice the things you are doing that genuinely help a loved one, and value yourself for the compassion you’re showing.
- Exercise often. Regular exercise produces endorphins that provide an all-natural boost to the mental perspective. If it’s difficult to reserve time for a full exercise session, it is just as effective to break your exercise time up into smaller activities throughout the day. This could be as easy as parking your vehicle in a spot that is farther from a shop entrance, choosing the stairs instead of the elevator, or peddling on a stationary bike while talking to a loved one.
The easiest method to lower stress and achieve a healthy and balanced life, however, is by working with a dependable in-home care provider, like Anthem Home Care. It’s not always easy asking for help; but caregiving is not meant to be a one-person job.
Ongoing, regular respite care provides the caregiver support family caregivers need to take regular breaks for themselves, which generally causes them to be more patient and effective caregivers – an important benefit for seniors. And, it gives seniors an added socialization opportunity, with a fully qualified, kind and thoughtful caregiving companion.
We’re just a phone call away, and here to assist you and your senior loved one any time with award-winning Corpus Christi senior services and home care in the surrounding communities. Contact us at 361-643-2323 for more information. Visit our Service Area page for a full list of the communities we serve.