It is probably the most common exchange in the human language. Conversations begin with “how are you doing?” and no matter how genuine the interest of the person asking, most people will simply respond “Fine”. This may be the easiest of pleasantries, but it could also be a contributor to your stress.
In your role as a family caregiver for your elderly parents, your life is dedicated to making sure that they are happy, healthy, safe, and managing all of their medical concerns as well as possible. In your efforts to give them the highest quality of life possible, however, it is easy to lose sight of your own health and well being. By letting others care about you and be active participants in your life, you provide yourself with invaluable emotional support and encouragement. This nurturing is vital to your mental health and helps you to be the best caregiver possible.
Use these tips to help you ease and manage your caregiver stress by allowing others to care about you:
- Answer honestly. When someone asks you how you are doing, be honest with them. Do not take this as your opportunity to complain or unload on them, but let them know if you are feeling tired, stressed, or overwhelmed by your caregiving efforts. Give them a chance to engage with you about your care efforts and take the opportunity to have an open conversation. This lets you evaluate your feelings and voice needs you may not have realized you had until given the opportunity to discuss them
- Find a support group. Caregiver stress is a common issue and many support groups exist to given those dealing with this type of stress a source of social engagement, support, and encouragement. This type of support is especially useful because it comes from those who are dealing with the same types of challenges and emotions within their own care relationships. Go to these meetings with an open mind and a willingness to honestly discuss your feelings
- Lean on your family. You might want to show how strong and resilient you are by never discussing the challenges you face in your care efforts, but it is important to remember that your family represents your most important network of emotional support, love, and care. They already know how hard you work to take care of your elderly parents and how strong you are to cope with the daily challenges of your care relationship. Allow them to show their love and concern for you by being your source of strength when the stress starts to become too much. Take the time every day to talk with your spouse about your care efforts, but also about other things so you can remember your life and relationships outside of your care responsibilities. Get plenty of hugs, kisses, and cuddles from your children. Give siblings that live at a distance a call. Even if your family is made up of pets, stay emotionally connected with them and find comfort in their support.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Cary, NC or the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at HomeChoice Home Care Services. Call today (919) 847-5622