Caring for Family Caregivers seems a little redundant, but there are actually important reasons why caring for yourself will not only ease your stress, but also allow you to be a better Family Caregiver.
Care for Caregivers Is So Important
Why is care for caregivers so important? There are many reasons, some of which were highlighted in a study performed by the National Alliance for Caregiving. The study found that caregivers were facing serious emotional and physical side effects because they failed to take care of themselves.
For example, a portion of the caregivers reported the following side effects:
- 65 percent reported having increased levels of stress or anxiety
- 49 percent said they had trouble sleeping
- 43 percent experienced more financial worries
- 37 percent had feelings of depression or hopelessness
- 26 percent reported new or worsening health problems
If stress can cause those potentially harmful side effects, what are ways you can help prevent them from happening to you? The most important thing you can do is to make sure you are taking proper care of yourself, both physically and mentally.
A Family Caregiver's Checklist for Their Own Well Being:
- Take time for yourself. When you plan your day, put time aside where you can have a moment to relax. You’ll be more willing to face other tasks if you already feel like you’ve had some down time.
- Learn to say no. The overall personality of caregivers is to be helpful and that means you tend to put a lot on your plate for others. Remember that not all requests for help need to be met by you. It’s a good habit to start saying, “I’ll get back to you” before committing to another responsibility. This gives you time to prioritize and make sure you are not overloading yourself with another commitment.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate. You have friends, children, siblings or a spouse that will more than likely be happy to help you out, so don’t miss a chance to accept help. By simply giving them one of your responsibilities, you can have time to give more attention to another area. Rotate meal preparations, have someone else mow the lawn or take over transportation duties for the day. These chores won’t seem like that big of a deal to your helpers but will make a big impact for you.
- Exercise. You will be amazed what a 30 minute walk can do. You’ll have time to clear your mind and physical activity of any kind is a proven stress reliever.
There are more ways to take care of yourself, including allowing the health care professionals at Freudenthal Home Health to take on some of your responsibilities as a caregiver. Give us a call today to find out how we can be your partner in caregiving and allow you more time to be a healthier and happier you.