Just under 50% of unpaid caregivers reported experiencing some level of physical stress while helping an older adult. Of them, 17% reported their physical stress as being very difficult.
The AARP Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 report also looked at emotional stress. Six out of ten unpaid caregivers reported experiencing some level of emotional stress. Of those people, 35% reported experiencing severe emotional stress.
When you’re caring for your dad, it’s normal to feel stress. What’s more important is having the tools you need to manage that daily stress. Here are some of the best ways to handle stress as a family caregiver.
Know When to Stop and Breathe
On really stressful days, make sure you’re reading your body’s signs for stress. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, stop, stand outside in the fresh air, and focus on nothing but the sounds of the birds while you breathe deeply for a few minutes.
Restorative breathing can help ease stress hormones your body releases and help you feel better. If you’ve ever taken a Yoga class, you may be familiar with this type of breathing. If you haven’t, take a deep breath that makes your stomach distended. Hold it for a count of five and slowly breathe it out through your mouth.
Learn to Say No
Make sure you’re telling others no when you need to. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your dad’s care needs on appointment days, don’t agree to also run errands for your brother. It’s okay to tell him that you just don’t have the time or energy.
Ask for Help
Ask for help when you need it. Your dad has his dentist and eye exam on the same day. You also need to pick up his prescription refill, and there’s an HVAC technician scheduled for an emergency repair of your dad’s air conditioning unit.
While you can do each of these, if you run into traffic or delays at either office or the pharmacy, you’ll be cutting it close. Ask for help. Get your brother to pick up the refill for you to lessen your to-do list.
Take Time Off Each Week
Have you looked into respite care services? If not, it’s time. An elder care agency helps you arrange regular visits from a paid caregiver, allowing you to take a break. Take a day off to do something fun. Visit friends, take a long walk, sleep in, and watch a movie.
Talk to an elder care advisor to learn more about respite care. You’ll go over prices, discuss the amount of respite care you feel is important, and schedule services. Call now.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in Evanston, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.
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