Caregiver stress syndrome describes a condition involving emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. Caregivers who neglect their personal health have a high risk of developing the problem. Caregiver burnout also has a negative effect on the senior loved ones family members are caring for. Caregivers can become inattentive, easily angered, or physically tired and unable to properly perform their duties.
Symptoms of caregiver stress syndrome include:
• Appetite changes
• Weight gain or loss
• Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and despair
• Changes in sleep patterns
• Generalized fatigue
• Social withdrawal
• Thoughts of self-harm
• Thoughts of harming elderly loved ones
• Loss of interest in favorite activities
• Frequent illnesses
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.
Once you recognize you’re experiencing caregiving-related stress, take steps to start the recovery process. Learn to take care of yourself to withstand the emotional, mental, and physical stress the task presents. Here are a few ways to prevent or alleviate caregiver stress.
Take a Break
The first step involves taking time off from caregiving duties. Enlist the aid of family members or friends to take over so you can rejuvenate. If the family is financially able, consider having a professional in-home caregiver provide assistance. Schedule time for yourself on a regular basis to engage in activities that allow you to relax and unwind. Spend time with friends, take up a hobby, or find another outlet that brings peace of mind.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality senior care, Mesa Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
Schedule a Family Meeting
Talk with family members about the possibility of having someone step in periodically to assume the caregiving duties. The breaks might be for a few hours, an entire day, or two days each week to relax. Family members might be willing to run errands, assist with finances, or perform household chores. One family member might volunteer to attend medical appointments with your parent. Perhaps someone is willing to prepare meals. Any help at all can alleviate stress for the main caregiver.
Join a Support Group
Caregiving support groups are a valuable source of information. Members have varying degrees of experience. Thus, they’re able to share information concerning difficult situations and behaviors. Experienced caregivers are a great resource for other tips and tricks. Members of support groups are also willing to listen while other caregivers vent.
Evaluate Daily Food Intake
Caregivers must maintain optimal physical health and strength to have the energy to perform the duties expected of them daily. Grabbing a fast-food meal or regularly consuming junk food may provide temporary sustenance. However, in the long run, an improper diet does nothing for long-term health and endurance. Healthy diets must feature lean meats, fish, and an abundance of vegetables and fruits. Include whole grains and nuts. Resist foods laden with saturated fat and sugar. The right foods also elevate mood, alleviate inflammation, and reduce stress hormones.
Routine physical activity keeps the musculoskeletal system strong and durable. Exercising is also a good way to alleviate stress and tension. Adopt an exercise routine. Take regular walks or hikes, or perhaps enjoy bike rides.
Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Mesa, AZ, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (480) 699-4899 today.