While caregiving can be rewarding, the demands of caregiving can be overwhelming and stressful. You have many responsibilities – at work, at home and in caring for your aging parents. Balancing your needs with those of your loved one can be difficult.
The American Psychological Association has found that caregivers have 23% higher level of stress hormones and 15% lower level of antibody responses compared to non-caregivers. Over time, elevated stress hormones can lead to high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels as well as depression and other health and mental issues.
Therefore, caregivers need to learn how to deal with stress to ensure their own long-term well-being. You have to learn to take care of yourself and here are 5 simple tips to help you do that.
Wake up at the same time every day – even weekends and days off, to keep your body on a regular schedule.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes close to bedtime.
Avoid eating heavy meals before bedtime.
Avoid vigorous exercise at least a few hours before bedtime.
Minimize any sleep distractions, like light from the alarm clock, outside noise, or too hot or cold temperatures, in your bedroom.
Talk to your doctor if you continue to have difficulties getting enough rest.
3. Stay active. Regular exercise not only makes you healthier, but also happier while reducing stress. Find a physical activity that you enjoy doing. Try to get in at least 20 minutes of exercise a day. If possible, you may want to have your loved one join you.
4. Meditate. Regular meditation can help you develop better concentration, find emotional clarity and calm your mind. Just 12 minutes a day of meditation can improve your mental health, according to a UCLA study. Try focused attention, chanting, visualization or mindful breathing meditation exercises.
5. Ask for help. It’s OK to ask for help. You don’t have to do it all alone. Ask other family members to take turns providing care for your loved one. Or, if your mom just needs a daily check-in, hire a service provider like Keeping In Touch Solutions. Our Care Callers can personally phone mom every day to see how she’s doing and make sure she’s eating or taking her medications. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your loved one is safe at home. If mom doesn’t answer her phone, emergency protocols are activated to ensure the right people are notified immediately.
At Keeping In Touch Solutions, we understand how stressful caregiving can be. By taking advantage of the services and resources available, you can worry less and feel less stressed, too. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. We’re here to help.
A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.
Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let’s make a difference together.
I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.
For that reason, the goal of every Keeping In Touch Solutions program is to provide a caring connection and service that both the elderly and their caregivers can rely on to make living that good life easier.
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