The stress of being a caregiver can be profound. Even if you love your parents dearly and are close to them, caregiver stress syndrome is a real thing, and remembering to take care of yourself while you’re taking care of your loved ones can get lost in the mix. However, as time passes, if your caregiver stress isn’t managed well, the ability to take care of your parents well will begin to decrease.
Read on to learn more about the signs of caregiver stress, caregiver stress management, and how to remember to take care of yourself.
Caregiver Stress: Caregiver Stress Symptoms
When you first move mom and dad into your space, it may seem like the perfect choice, particularly if they weren’t happy where they were or were having a tough time aging in place where they were because of the onset of Alzheimer’s or because of physical mobility issues.
However, Alzheimer’s and caregiver stress can be incredibly stressful. Over time, or maybe even after a few weeks, you may begin to notice some changes, such as:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Overreacting to minor things
- Feeling resentful
- Drinking or smoking more than usual
- Feeling less energy
- Cutting back on activities you once enjoyed
- Trouble relaxing
While these may sound like symptoms of depression or anxiety, they can also be symptoms of caregiver stress and the stress of taking care of elderly parents. The key is how to not take stress out on loved ones and how to manage these symptoms so that you can take care of your parents and still live a happy, productive life.
How to Deal with the Stress of Caring for an Elderly Parent: Managing Stress for Caregivers
Caregiver stress relief can come in many forms. One of the main things you can do to manage caretaker stress is ask for help. This can be from other family members, from community resources, or respite. Very often, respite care is covered by Medicare or other forms of insurance, and this type of care plan allows you to get away for a night or weekend, for that much-needed break you deserve.
Other methods of coping with stress for caregivers focus on mental approaches you must take. There must be some level of acceptance when it comes to the condition of your parents’ health and your decision to be a caretaker. You must let go of guilt, which is a big part of caregiver stress, when you feel you haven’t been “good enough.” You’re always doing the best you can.
Also, try to attend to your own mental and physical well-being and keep your own medical and mental health appointments. You can’t be a good caregiver if you’re not taking good care of yourself.
To hear more tips about how to deal with the stress of caring for an elderly parent, or to learn about mobility products that can be life-changing, such as stairlifts and wheelchair ramps, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want both patients and their caregivers to live their best lives.