While caregiving can be very rewarding, stress resulting from the emotional and physical aspects of the role is very common. Stress puts caregivers’ own health at risk, and it can lead to depression, isolation, chronic illness, and frustration, which is why it’s so important to take steps to care for yourself as well as your senior loved one.
Join a Support Group
Joining a support group for caregivers doesn’t just give you encouragement and a place to discuss the challenges of daily life. It can also help you learn problem-solving strategies and ways to alleviate stress.
Ask for Help
Just because you’re a caregiver doesn’t mean you have to do it all by yourself. Many caregivers find themselves becoming more isolated as they care for their loved ones, and many feel uncomfortable asking other people for help. You don’t need to accept all of the responsibilities of caregiving alone. Try making a list of things that need to be done and asking friends, siblings, and other family members to help. This may mean having to give up a certain amount of control. Others may not do things the same way you do, but things will still get done nonetheless. This will give you some free time to focus on your own emotional and physical wellbeing.
Take a Break from Caregiving
An already stressful situation can get even worse if you become physically ill. You must allow yourself time to maintain your body properly. This includes attending regular checkups, eating healthy, and getting plenty of sleep. Even a weekend to yourself can help you recharge your batteries. You deserve a break, and your loved one may also appreciate having the company of someone new. If you don’t have other family members or neighbors who can care for your loved one while you’re gone, you may want to consider hiring a professional in-home caregiver to take over your duties for a few hours a day or a couple of days a week.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Mississauga families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.
Set Aside Time for Yourself
It can be easy to let caregiving consume you. Make sure you find time to explore other rewarding areas of life, such as turning to a hobby or spending time with other family members. Scheduling some time for yourself each day can also relieve stress. Set aside a reasonable amount of time every day to do something you enjoy, such as reading a book or taking a relaxing bath. Taking breaks to focus on your own wellbeing can provide you with renewed energy for caregiving tasks the following day.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
A daily meditation practice can relieve stress and exhaustion while enhancing your own wellbeing. Even a few minutes of deep breathing or mindful meditation after a challenging day can make all the difference and give you a renewed sense of inner strength.
Delegating your caregiving duties to a professional is one of the best ways to combat stress. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality senior care, Mississauga Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (905) 592-0085 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.