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How Caregivers Can Manage Stress

By Lauren Robison, 9:00 am on

Even the most capable and motivated caregiver needs to develop stress management strategies. Developing and implementing a course of action for stress management helps at-home caregivers stay physically and mentally healthy throughout the caregiving process. According to the Mayo Clinic, effective strategies include the following.

Focus on What You’re Able to Provide

Second-guessing ourselves is common when providing care for a loved one.  We often feel guilty that we could have done more or done more with less. Recognize that nobody is perfect and that all you can do is the best you can with what you have available to you.

Set Realistic Goals  

Focus on the task at hand. Break large tasks into smaller ones. Don’t put more on your plate than you need to, even if that means stepping away from other commitments that are non-essential. Remember you cannot be all things to all people. Therefore, embrace the power of no so the most important things are prioritized.

Get Connected

Most communities have resources to assist caregivers during their times of need.  Classes are often offered for family members of people suffering from specific diseases. These are great opportunities to learn from others who are experiencing the same challenges you are facing. Government and non-profit agencies often offer transportation and meal delivery services. Houses of worship, service organizations, and charities also provide services ranging from counseling to meals and prayer support.  

Accept Help

Many of us are lucky enough to have friends and loved ones offer their help while we provide care for another. Yet we often refuse that help as we do not want to burden others. Instead of saying “No,” come up with a list of things that would make your life easier during this time. Perhaps a family member can help out on weekends or maybe a friend has a great movie for the two of you to watch one evening. If nothing else, consider respite care in New Hampshire to provide you breaks on a regular basis.

Remember, you need to take care of yourself, not just your loved one.  Manage your stress and you will find your ability to perform as a caregiver improves. You will also be more mentally and physically prepared for the challenges caregiving provides. If you could use help, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care New Hampshire families count on. Our experienced caregivers can help your loved one with everyday tasks while you take the time you need to regroup. Call a friendly Care Manager at (603) 471-3004 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.