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Being a caregiver is a difficult job that usually doesn’t have breaks, doesn’t come with textbook instructions, and can be lonely. The good news is that there are ways to manage caregiving stress. This blog offers some suggestions on how to find help and what steps to take to ease the responsibility.
Caregivers usually don’t realize that they are experiencing burnout until physical symptoms appear, a friend or family member recommends that changes be made, or the caregiver simply feels mentally overwhelmed. Physical symptoms may include high blood pressure, tightness in the chest, fatigue, change in appetite and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms should be initially examined and monitored by a physician. If symptoms are found not to be related to an illness, after care may include:
These activities may help manage physical symptoms and may also serve as a form of distraction.
Caregivers often feel that it is not possible to participate in previously enjoyed recreational activities since daily responsibilities may seem endless. However, free time and hobbies are imperative for anyone to maintain a healthy mindset. If you are at first unable to find anyone to help provide care for your loved one while you take time for yourself, find ways to involve them in activities. This may include:
It is important for caregivers to eventually be able to set aside some alone time for self-soothing activities.You may need to find respite care for your loved one if family and friends are unable to provide help. A home health care agency or adult day center can step in to fulfill this need.
If you're wondering what to do with your new found free time, some activities that have been shown to have stress reduction value are:
Sometimes your feelings and symptoms may be too overwhelming for you to manage all on your own. Consider getting support to help reduce your stress:
Education is another important aspect of getting help for caregiver burnout.
You don’t need to be alone as a caregiver. Realize that you are assuming many roles as a caretaker and it is important to find ways to reduce your stress on a regular basis. This is not a luxury but a necessity. For help locating support, call Abramson Care Advisors at 215-371-3400. A trained senior care expert is available to talk 24 hours a day, seven days a week.