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Helping a Loved One Through Elder Care? 10 Tips to Relieve Anxiety and Stress

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Helping a Loved One Through Elder Care? 10 Tips to Relieve Anxiety and Stress

Helping a loved one through elder care or illness takes a mental and emotional toll on an individual.
 

When caring for others, it’s important to take care of yourself. If you’re not in good health, the tasks of giving care will fall short, not to mention the hardships and risks it places on you, which range from exhaustion, illness, and burnout.

The stresses of giving care work out in different forms and several studies report as many as one in three feel anxious and strained. And one in two, report they have less time to spend with their support system.

To help relieve potential anxiety and stress, follow these tips:
 

  1. Put your health first. Eat wholesome foods and avoid urges for desserts and sweets. Get plenty of sleep and if fatigued during the day, take a nap. Get a regular medical checkup, and if depressed and feel extreme sadness, talk to a medical professional.
  2. Reach out to friends and family members. Do not isolate.
  3. Get support and ask for help. List out what needs doing and ask others to pitch in.
  4. Locate and call local resources like the Area Agency on Aging. They can suggest and make recommendations for assistance. Contact a home care agency to request the help of an aide. Volunteers from faith-based organizations or local groups can help with cooking or driving.
  5. Take a break and consider respite care. Ask a friend to step in while you have lunch or run an errand. Contact an adult day care center for breaks during the day. Plan a longer break by going away for the weekend and turn to assisted living or residential care facilities for help. Some accept short-term stays.
  6. Address your emotions. Don’t keep them bottled up. Call a friend or family member and share your frustrations. Join a local caregiver support group or see a professional counselor.
  7. Once each day, do something you enjoy. Take a walk outside, call a friend on the phone, read, dance, and listen to music. Some individuals meditate, pray, and visualize.
  8. Get prepared and organized. Use a calendar to make a to-do list. And start the day by completing one task and work your way through it. Don’t panic if you can’t get to them all.
  9. Don’t be a people pleaser. It’s okay to set boundaries and to say no. You cannot do everything and meet everyone’s demands. Resist the urge to do more than you can handle.
  10. Avoid pessimism and give yourself credit.

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By taking action, you can solve issues before they become problems. Remember that providing care to another person puts strain even on the most active and spirited humans. If you’re a caregiver, take steps to preserve your health and well-being.

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