Serving as a family care provider for a senior loved one is truly an act of love. Even though it can certainly be rewarding, it may also become daunting, due to:
- The physical issues of a chronic health condition
- The cognitive challenges of dementia
- Feeling helpless and not able to address the senior’s challenges
- Feeling overburdened without enough time for caring for yourself
- And numerous other contributing factors
It is very important for family care providers to set aside planned time every day to rest and recharge, and to help counteract stress. Nevertheless, prioritizing time for you to do this might seem impossible.
At Hearts at Home In-Home Care, a local provider of expert private duty home care in Kansas City and surrounding areas, we recognize how much stress family members have to deal with when a loved one is in need of care and attention. Our services benefit not only the seniors in our care, but the rest of the family as well, allowing family caregivers to get a well-deserved break. These tips for family caregivers from our senior care experts can help relieve stress and restore peace:
- Breathe deeply. Deep breathing is a wonderful way for you to immediately calm an anxious heart. And you can practice it anywhere, anytime! Just settle into a comfortable, seated position, and breathe in through your nose while counting silently to five. Next, release your breath through your nose, again while silently counting to five. Repeat as often as needed until you are feeling more peaceful.
- Think intentionally. Concentrating on the difficulties occurring at the moment is a normal reaction, but with some practice, it is possible to learn to intentionally shift your thinking to something more constructive. In the middle of a stressful event, the positives are probably not easy to find, but they are there nonetheless – even though they might be something as apparently insignificant as the beauty of the bouquet of flowers on the table, the words to your favorite song, or the smell of apple pie baking in the oven.
- Thank yourself. Meeting the care needs of another person is important work, work that is certainly deserving of respect. It’s work that you’d thank someone else for doing, but are you taking time to thank yourself? Often, family care providers beat themselves up in replaying all the mistakes they’ve made. Instead, notice the things you’re doing that genuinely help a loved one, and value yourself for the compassion you are showing.
- Exercise often. Regular exercise produces endorphins that give a natural boost to our mental outlook. If it is difficult to set aside time for a full exercise session, it’s equally effective to break your exercise time up into smaller activities during the day. This is often as easy as parking your vehicle in an area that’s farther from a store entrance, taking the stairs as opposed to the elevator, or peddling on a stationary bike while talking to a loved one.
The easiest method to lower stress and achieve a healthy and balanced life, however, is by partnering with a trusted in-home care agency, like Hearts at Home In-Home Care. It’s not always easy asking for help; but caregiving is never meant to be a one-person job.
Ongoing, regular respite care makes it possible for family caregivers to take routine breaks for themselves, which in turn causes them to be more patient and effective caregivers – an important benefit for senior loved ones. And, it provides seniors with an added opportunity to socialize, with a fully trained, kind and considerate caregiving companion.
Need more tips for family caregivers or are you in search of private duty home care in Kansas City or nearby areas? We’re just a call away, and here to help you and the senior in your care any time with trusted in-home respite services. Call us at 913-440-4209 for more information. Visit our Service Area page to view a full list of the areas in which we offer care.