Are you a family member who is responsible for the health and welfare of an elderly loved one? Your great service is a wonderful way for your aging relative to live at home, despite any physical or mental health issues they may face. However, you are in danger of becoming overstressed if you try to take all this on yourself. You need to know when to seek help so that you don’t suffer the consequences of being overstressed.
How Does Stress Impact Family Caregivers?
When someone is overstressed, their body is dealing with chronic exhaustion both physically and mentally. Without respite, the body continues to react to the stress, building up until too many things start to wear down. Common physical symptoms of too much stress include headaches, high blood pressure, stomach aches, anxiety, and depression. If you want to avoid the health effects of chronic stress, you must find a way to get some help.
But why does caring for an aging adult trigger so much stress in family caregivers like you? The demands on their time are extensive and usually increase dramatically over time as the aging adult’s health continues to decline. Typical caregiver tasks include getting the aging adult out of bed each morning, toileting bathing, dressing, grooming and daily hygiene. They also take care of the house, focusing on creating a clean and safe atmosphere for the aging adult.
Every miscellaneous task that the aging adult cannot do falls to the family caregiver. In no time, the family caregiver is devoting every minute of spare time to helping their aging loved one. When stubborn personalities clash or the elderly relative is being particularly stubborn or sad, that can also aggravate the situation and send stress levels through the roof. It’s never too late to find help in the form of a home care provider.
How Can Home Care Providers Help?
If you want to implement some stress management techniques, the first thing you must do is get some time for yourself. Hiring a home care provider gives you regularly scheduled breaks so you can participate in some stress-busting activities. Some restorative activities include regular exercise, healthy eating, restful sleep, and cutting down on smoking and drinking. Other things you can do to help relieve stress includes socializing with friends, visiting with a therapist, relax with a good book or movie, and enjoying a hobby.
As you develop coping strategies to diffuse the stress of caregiving, you will quickly see how much of a difference it is when you are not overstressed. Don’t wait for the time when you simply cannot cope with the stress anymore. Instead, contact a home care provider right away and work out a schedule that gives you time for yourself, knowing that your aging relative is safe and comfortable with the home care provider.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Mercerville, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.
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