Saturday, October 6, 2012

Caregiver Stress

Here are some helpful articles and videos for caregivers of the elderly. To quote:
 Home Instead provides resources to help family caregivers understand the many emotions of caregiving. Among those tools are a video series about understanding the feelings of caregiving and a Family Caregiver Support Web Seminar Series.

In addition, the Home Instead Senior Care network and caregiving expert Dr. Amy D'Aprix recommend the following process to help caregivers come to grips with the rigors of caregiving and avoid depression:

  1. Acknowledge feelings. It's OK to feel conflicting emotions as a family caregiver, Dr. D'Aprix notes. "Think of it as a pie. Perhaps 30 percent of the pie is anger and 20 percent is guilt, but the rest of the pie is love. Seeing it as a pie helps caregivers realize that caregiving comes with a range of emotions, and that's OK."
  2. Release feelings in a safe way. Journaling is one effective way that family caregivers can get their feelings out. Joining a support group or talking to a therapist or non-judgmental friend are others.
  3. Manage the situation. Oftentimes there's no other way around it: caregivers need help. If you can't find that support with family, go to trusted friends, faith community or consider professional caregiving support.
  4. Find solutions. "Make a list of the things you enjoy doing to reduce stress," Dr. D'Aprix advises. "Reading, watching a favorite television show, attending a faith service, exercising, visiting a museum, meeting friends and listening to music are all activities that many caregivers enjoy. Keep a list and build in mini breaks or bite-size getaways - 15 minutes at a time. It's not all or nothing."
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