In order to ensure a successful caregiving experience, one of the most important things that we can do is care for the caregiver! Home Instead Senior Care leaders highlight several aspects of senior care in Stages of Senior Care: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Best Decisions. And, a very important aspect of senior care is addressed — taking care of YOU!
Some suggestions noted in the book, include these thinking points:
How Stressed Are You?
As stresses build you may lose your ability to care for your loved one. Ask yourself what you can do to reduce your own stress level.
Ideas: Schedule regular exercise activities and set aside quiet time for meditation.
Get Others to Help!
If you are the primary caregiver, discuss a shared-care arrangement with siblings and others.
Ideas: Ask for help and develop a list of activities that can be fulfilled by others. Make prior arrangements for reliable respite care.
Protect your Body and Mind!
Experience has shown us that caregivers are less likely than others to follow a preventive self-care regimen and tend to neglect health care.
Ideas: Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins, nuts and grains. Also, schedule regular doctor’s visits and annual checkups. Indulge yourself in a reward for the efforts you make in providing care for your loved one…go to a concert or treat yourself to a spa day.
Be Aware of your Emotions
Research shows that adult children who take a problem-solving role in caregiving issues are less likely to feel stress than those who simply worry or fret without an action plan.
Ideas: Visit a local caregiver support group for solutions in resolving caregiving issues. Also, your support group will remind you that you are not alone in your thoughts and concerns.
Some additional caregiver website resources include:
If you have a suggestion on combatting caregiver stress, please share your ideas with our group below or on our Caregiver Forum.
We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior who could benefit from our vast array of home care services in the Fairfax area , please call us at 703.750.6644, or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff of trained and certified home care personnel covering the Fairfax County, Virginia area.