Serving as a family care provider for an older adult is definitely an act of love. And while it can certainly be rewarding, it may quickly become overwhelming, because of:
- The physical complications of a chronic health problem
- The cognitive challenges of Alzheimer’s disease
- Feeling helpless and struggling to address the senior’s issues
- Feeling overburdened without time to care for yourself
- And countless other contributing factors
It is imperative for family care providers to set aside planned time each day to relax and recharge, and to help counteract stress. Yet prioritizing time for you to do so may seem impossible.
At Absolute Companion Care, a local provider of home care in Lutherville, MD and the surrounding areas, we know how much stress family members struggle with when a senior loved one is in need of care. Our services benefit not just the seniors we take care of, but the rest of the family as well, allowing family care providers to take a well-deserved break. These tips from our elder care experts can help alleviate caregiver stress and restore peace:
- Take deep breaths. Breathing deeply is a fantastic way to immediately calm an anxious heart. And you can practice it anywhere, anytime! Simply settle into a comfortable, seated position, breathe in through your nose while counting silently to five. Next, breathe out through your nose, again while silently counting to five. Repeat as many times as required until you are feeling more at peace.
- Think intentionally. Focusing on the difficulties occurring right now is a natural reaction, but with some practice, you can easily learn to intentionally shift your thinking to something more uplifting. In the midst of a difficult event, the positives are probably not easy to find, but they’re there nonetheless – even if it is something as apparently minor as the beauty of the vase of flowers on the table, the words to your favorite song, or the aroma of blueberry muffins baking in the oven.
- Thank yourself. Meeting the care needs of a loved one is significant work, work that is worthy of appreciation. It’s work that you would thank others for doing, but are you taking time to thank yourself? Often, family caregivers beat themselves up in replaying all the mistakes they’ve made. Instead, notice the things you are doing that genuinely help a loved one, and appreciate yourself for the compassion you are showing.
- Work out often. Physical activity produces endorphins that provide an all-natural boost to your mental outlook. If it’s not easy to reserve time for a full exercise session, it’s just as effective to split your exercise time up into smaller activities during the day. This is often as easy as parking the car in an area that is farther from a store entrance, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or peddling on a stationary bike while chatting with a loved one.
The simplest way to lower stress and achieve a healthier life balance, however, is by working with a reliable in-home care agency, like Absolute Companion Care. It is not always easy asking for help; but caregiving is not supposed to be a one-person job.
Ongoing, regular respite care allows family caregivers to take regular breaks for themselves, which generally causes them to be more patient and effective caregivers – an important benefit for senior loved ones. And, it provides seniors with an added opportunity to socialize with a fully qualified, kind and friendly caregiving companion.
We are just a phone call away, and here to assist you and your senior loved one any time with award-winning in-home respite care solutions. Give us a call at 410-357-9640 for more information about our home care in Lutherville, MD and nearby areas.