Caregiver stress is something that most people expect to experience when they are stepping into the role of caring for an elderly adult. If you are caring for a senior who is suffering from a serious health challenge such a cancer, you are even more likely to experience not only the stress, but also the potentially severe complications and consequences that may result from such stress. Finding coping techniques and focusing on easing and managing this stress is a critical part of managing your stress in a healthy and effective way, protecting your health and well-being, and supporting a higher quality of life as you continue on in your caregiver journey and beyond.
Some activities that you can use to help you deal with caregiver stress include:
• Me time. Take out your calendar and schedule some “me time”. This should be time that you set aside specifically for yourself and that you acknowledge and honor just as you would any other appointment. This can be for a long bubble bath, a few hours a reading, going out to a meal by yourself, or going for a walk. Whatever you like to do to relax, this is the time to do it.
• Date night. Your partner can be an exceptional source of support during your caregiver journey. Lean on them and allow them to ease your stress, give you support and encouragement, and make you happy. Plan date nights that allow you to spend time together on a regular basis, away from your care efforts. Go out to eat, go to a show, or just curl up together and watch TV. Enjoy your time together and let them support and comfort you.
• Journal. Writing out how you are feeling is a powerful way to explore your emotions and thoughts, and work through them. Make it a habit to journal regularly. Record what you are going through, both the good and the bad, and express your emotions and thoughts regarding them. Set aside a section to be a gratitude journal, recording the wonderful things that happen in your life as much as the challenging ones. This will allow you to look back through them in hard times and get a boost.
If you have found that your aging parent’s challenges and needs are more than you can handle as their family caregiver, or your own personal limitations and schedule have become such that you are not able to fulfill their needs in the way that you think they deserve, now may be the ideal time to consider home care for them. As a family caregiver, it is your priority to make sure that your senior has the care, support, and assistance that they need to live their highest quality of life possible. Sometimes this means recognizing care gaps that might exist in your routine and finding ways to ensure that they are filled. A care provider can address these gaps, filling them in the way that is right for your parent, and for you, with highly personalized services tailored toward a lifestyle that is safe and healthy, as well as independent and fulfilling.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Des Plaines, IL, please call the caring staff at A-Abiding Care today. Serving North and Northwest Chicago and the surrounding area for over 30 years. Call 847-698-1400.