Throughout the country, the number of adults over the age of 65 continues to grow – and with it the number of caregivers. If you are someone who is currently working as a caregiver, it is important that you take steps yourself to maintain your own health.
This is a challenge for many caregivers, because they have to balance between maintaining their loved ones’ wellbeing and ensuring that their own mental and physical health is in check. Especially if you are looking after a family member, studies have shown that there is a wide range of mental and physical side effects that will begin to take their toll on the overall wellbeing of a caregiver.
This is why it is so important to be aware of what caregiver stress is, and what you can do in order to alleviate it. In order to manage your stress and stay healthy, we want to provide you with a few different strategies.
Strategy #1 – Focus on a positive mentality
There are several responsibilities for a caregiver, many of which can take up the majority of the day. This may lead to feelings of negativity and hopelessness. It is important that you realize and acknowledge the negative emotions that may come up during the process.
By acknowledging these feelings, it gives you more control over them. By identifying these feelings, you are able to turn them into something positive instead.
Strategy #2 – Accept that not everything is going to be possible
While it may sound defeatist to some, it is important to recognize and acknowledge the fact that you cannot always do everything yourself. Even though you have goals and beliefs for the person that you are caring for, it is imperative that you remember that you have limitations as well. This means that you should not feel guilty if you cannot do everything or simply cannot find the time. Especially when the adult you care for becomes resentful, this can be a challenge.
Strategy #3 – Identify the symptoms of caregiver stress
It is important to be aware of the symptoms of caregiver stress and know when to ask for help from others. A few of the signs of caregiver stress include strong feelings of resentment, overreacting to minor issues, feelings of irritability, and difficulty sleeping and concentrating.
If you are not going to get the support that you need as a caregiver, chances are that you will not only be unable to care for yourself, but mentally and physically unable to support the person that you are looking after.