Caregiver Lake Forest IL
No matter what the motivation behind stepping into the role of being a family caregiver for your aging parent, or how close you are with your senior, one issue that you are likely to face during your care journey with them is stress. Caregivers are far more likely to experience symptoms of stress and the consequences that can occur because of it than adults their age who are not caregivers. While some stress is completely natural and normal, excessive stress can lead to feelings of distress, burnout, exhaustion, and even increased risk of physical illness as well as mental and emotional health consequences. Learning how to reduce this stress and manage stress when it does occur is an essential part of being an effective caregiver and ensuring that both your aging parent and you can enjoy the highest quality of life possible as you age in place.
Use these tips to help you reduce stress in your caregiver journey:
• Acknowledge that it is a possibility. Some family caregivers think that if they are feeling stress it is because they do not want to care for their aging parent or they cannot handle the demands of this role. This can make you feel guilty and overwhelmed, and further contribute to the stress. It is important to acknowledge that this is not the case. Stress is a normal reaction to the increased demands of being a family caregiver and does not indicate your motivation or your love for your parent. By acknowledging that stress is a possibility or that you are already going through stress you are better able to confront it and take the steps needed to address and reduce it.
• Maintain your routine. Simply because you have taken on the care responsibilities for your aging parent does not mean that the rest of your life should just go out the window. Routine and predictability are important to older adults, but they are also important to you and your children. Keeping up with as much of your normal lifestyle as possible is vital to helping your children feel secure, giving you structure and meaning, and reducing the sense that your life is no longer yours.
• Make time for yourself. You are not going to be able to properly care for your aging parent or fulfill the needs of any of the other people in your life if you do not take care of yourself. When you ignore your own needs and neglect your own health and well-being, you diminish both your motivation and your effectiveness. This means that you cannot do the things that you need to do for your loved one, which will only further your stress. Not spending time focused on yourself can also lead to bitterness and resentment. Instead, make sure that you schedule time to be on your own and to enjoy things that you love away from your care efforts. This will give your brain a chance to relax and heal, and provide respite from the struggles of caring for your parent so that you can remind yourself that there is more to life than just your caregiver role.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services Lake Forest IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.