3 Ways for Caregivers to De-stress
November 4, 2015
Taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient can be a stressful experience as many things begin to change, but there are some ways that one may be able to make the responsibility a little less overwhelming.
One method may be to install a personal emergency response system. This can allow patients to immediately send a medical alert to doctors or caregivers if they require assistance. This could also reduce caregiver stress levels by knowing that an individual is safer, which is one of the most important things.
“My family and I cared for my mother for nearly 10 years as she battled Alzheimer’s. Watching her decline felt like an emotional, physical and spiritual assault, which every member of my family dealt with individually,” radio personality Leeza Gibbons told The Osceola Sentinel-Tribune. “I learned so much from that experience – most importantly that being a caregiver is not something you can do alone.”
She shared other tips for caregivers going through a similar situation:
1. Relax and Breathe.
Be sure to understand one’s body, so that any symptoms of stress can be identified and treated early. Find outlets that can relieve this negative emotion, and create an organized schedule of what needs to be done. Find a community yoga class or if you prefer to be alone, there are many free online yoga courses to use for stress relief.
Painting, drawing, meditation, and even going for a daily walk are among the many outlets one can take to rid any negative vibes. While it may rid stress in the moment, there are also many long term health benefits of taking on a relaxing activity.
2. Be Confident.
Individuals who are constantly wondering whether they are an adequate caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient may suffer from more stress than those who become confident in their role and adapt to the given situation. The key is to accept the change and believe in one’s abilities. Gibbons states that optimism can be a valuable tool for this position.
3. Reach Out.
Many caregivers refuse to talk to others about their situation, either because they are stubborn or feel guilty if they do ask for assistance. There is no reason that one should have to go through the trials of caregiving alone. Instead, reach out to other family members and ask for assistance.
Additionally, look into your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter. The website offers an entire Caregiver Center designed for family and friends to ask questions, seek help, as well as offer their support to others.
Never feel bad or weak for taking time to focus on yourself to relieve stress. It is natural for us to get stressed during tough and emotional changes, so it is very important to get your mind and body to relax and release those negative feelings.
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