When seniors face physical or cognitive challenges that make it difficult to live independently, family members frequently become caregivers for their relative. While caregiving can be rewarding for family members, providing a high-level of care can also be stressful. To help family members avoid becoming stressed or burned out, here are three tips for family caregivers, presented by Home Care Assistance of Summit.
1. Have Short Naps
Over a period of time, working long hours to care for your loved one during the day and night may be taking a toll on your sleep schedule and your ability to be attentive while with your loved one. If you find yourself waking up with heavy eyes or find yourself forgetting small, but important things, like your car keys, try to find time to take short twenty-minute naps during the day. If you are consistently exhausted from your caregiving responsibilities, you might also consider hiring an hourly caregiver in Summit to provide respite care. This way, you can have a few hours each day or week to recharge and be refreshed when you return to caring for your loved one.
2. Take Mental Breaks
If you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of tasks you have to complete each day, try taking a mental break for several minutes to calm yourself. Stress from exhaustion can show itself through strained muscles and tiredness, so practicing deep breathing can provide an easy mental break and a way to physically relax. Studies show that taking a deep breath in through the nose for eight counts, holding it for four counts, and releasing that breath through the mouth for another eight counts can release muscle tension and reduce stress.
3. Recognize Accomplishments
For many caregivers, the fact that some conditions do not improve overtime can make providing care emotionally challenging. To bolster your spirits, it can help to take time once a week to record a list of accomplishments that you and your loved one have achieved. Taking note of happy moments, successful outings, or dinners that went smoothly can be a reminder that you are having a positive influence on your loved one’s life. Recognizing that caring for a loved one is important for his or her wellbeing can help reduce caregivers’ feelings of stress.
As being a family caregiver for an elderly loved one can be very challenging, many families hire professional hourly or live-in caregivers in Summit to supplement their loved one’s care. With the high-caliber caregivers at Home Care Assistance, you can rest assured that your loved one will be well cared for. Our caregivers are expertly trained to assist your loved one with daily tasks, including navigating the home, personal grooming, and cleaning, so that you can take time you need to feel recharged. Give one of our knowledgeable Care Managers a call at 908.450.9400 for more information about our respite care services and to set up a free in-home consultation.