The Mayo Clinic has compiled a list of tips and strategies for dealing with caregiver stress.
Recently there has been an increase in caregiving by those who are not health care professionals.
More than 65 million Americans help with the care of a loved one. With an increasing number of caregivers, comes an increasing amount of caregiver stress.
The MayoClinic points out these 5 signs of caregiver stress:
- Feeling tired most of the time
- Feeling overwhelmed and irritable
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Gaining or losing a lot of weight
- Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
Also some great tips for helping even more the patient or resilient person's stress:
Be ready with ways other people can help you, let the helper decide how they can help. For example: take the person you care for on a walk a couple of times a week.
Focus On What You Are Able To Provide
Don't give in to guilt. Feeling guilty is normal, but understand that no one is a "perfect" caregiver. You're doing the best you can at any given time.
Organizations like the Red Cross, the Alzheimer's Association, and local hospitals have classes of other resources available on caregiving and the specific disease your loved on is facing.
Join A Support Group
Support groups offer a great option for advice and encouragement from other caregivers.
Seek Social Support
Stay connected emotionally with family and friends. Set aside time each week for socializing. Many caregivers have said that their social support system was the key to dealing with caregiver related stress.
Set Personal Health Goals
For instance, set a personal health goal to exercise most of the days. Watching your diet is also crucial.
See Your Doctor
Keep up to date with recommended screenings and immunizations. Be sure to let your doctor know when you become a caregiver.
For further online Caregiver resources and information visit Live Oak's Caregiver resources section.