As our loved ones age, we can find ourselves in the position of having to provide care for them. They may not be able to move around as they use to, or they may need help bathing and feeding themselves. This can be a rewarding thing to do, but it can also take its toll. Lots of caregivers begin to experience stress and their own health can even suffer. If you are providing memory care or any other kind of care for your loved one, you need to be able to stay healthy yourself, so we have some tips for caregivers who are having trouble with stress.
- Accept Help: You do not have to do everything yourself. If someone offers to help, take them up on it, even if it is just going to the grocery store for you. Anything that you can delegate to someone else is something that you should consider. The last thing you want is to overwhelm yourself with too much to do.
- Support Groups: There are many support groups available for caregivers. These can be in your area or online. These support groups can be hugely beneficial, since caring for someone can be very isolating. You need to speak with people who are going through the same thing. Staying social can help fight off depression and other issues, so take the time to consider joining one of these groups. There are many that even specialize in help for people who provide memory care.
- Get Rest: It can be difficult to get the kind of rest you need when you are a primary caregiver. This is because worry can make it difficult to sleep or because you may be woken up from sleep by the person you are caring for. It is vital that you get enough rest. Take naps when you can and go to sleep at a reasonable hour. Power naps can make a huge difference in how you feel, so do not underestimate them.
- See Your Doctor: You may not notice if your body is showing signs of stress but your doctor will. By keeping your appointments, you will be able to stay healthy. You cannot take care of someone else if you are ill, so keep this in mind.
- Eat Well: Many times, people who are caregivers opt for fast food, since they do not have time to prepare meals. Do your best to eat balanced meals that provide the kind of nutrition you need. You have to stay healthy and eating properly can help with this.
All of these things are important when you are the primary caregiver for a loved one. Stress can easily catch up with you, but by eating correctly, by getting the rest you need, and by accepting help, you can help stave off a lot of it. Do not be afraid to ask for help from senior living facilities. If you feel you cannot cope, the best thing you can do for yourself and for your loved one is to get expert help.