Resources for Caregivers: Reducing Caregiver Stress

In our previous blog post, we shared some results from the National Alliance for Caregivers’ study.  According to their most recent study, here are some of the most common areas where caregivers feel they need help, as well as some of our tips and possible solutions:

    • Worries about keeping a loved one safe at home. Conduct a Fall Prevention Review or hire a Geriatric Care Manager to provide an assessment and recommendations.  Consider the areas of greatest concern and determine if a home health caregiver can assist with issues such as nutrition, transportation, personal care or medication management.
    • Managing stress. One of the best ways to manage stress is to feel you have a handle on the situation…to minimize the unknown, unexpected, and unpleasant surprises.  Caring for someone with a chronic illness or dementia is an ever-changing situation with new challenges arising often.  However, learning about your loved one’s condition(s) and finding out about resources can help.  Know who you’d call if a situation arose…have those numbers at your fingertips.  The site SeniorsforLiving.com offers a great Caregiver Resource Guide with top websites to visit for information.
    • Finding time for one’s self. There is not an easy answer to this, but having time for yourself should be considered a necessity, not a luxury.  A favorite analogy of mine is to think of the airplane safety instructions.  The flight attendant tells you to put your own mask on first and then help the child or dependent who needs your assistance…because what good will you be unconscious?  Similarly, you need to take care of yourself in order to care for your loved one.  A little time dedicated to a favorite activity can revitalize you for your caregiving duties.  List out your tasks and determine those you might delegate, whether to a family member, volunteer group or community organization, or professional home caregiver.  Your family member probably needs you most as their advocate and loved one, and without a break these roles may suffer.
    • Choosing the right professional care, such as home caregivers. We recommend reading our Five Tips to Finding a Quality Home Care Provider and Affordable Quality Care for some great tips and considerations.  You can “test drive” a home caregiver with some small tasks or short-term assistance so that both you and your loved one get more comfortable with the idea, and you have options for respite or assistance as needs increase.

Every caregiver faces a unique set of circumstances.  Therefore, the solutions that work for you may not be the same as for someone else.  However, the experiences of others can be instructive.  Think about your situation, concerns, and needs and seek out advice on options and resources.  Consider joining a caregiver support group, or finding support through online communities (there are even telephone support groups available).  There may not be easy answers, but there are likely some solutions about which you are not aware.

CONTACT US TODAY at 727-448-0900 to discuss your concerns or for your FREE home care assessment.