Caring for an aging in place loved one is a huge responsibility and sometimes informal caregivers get anxious because they’re worried about making a mistake. Adding a stressful event like the coronavirus pandemic to the mix can ratchet up the average caregiver’s anxiety level even further. At some point stress, worry and anxiety can keep a caregiver from providing their loved one with the assistance they need. Thankfully, there are several good ways to manage caregiver anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis, starting with these.
Chronic Stress and Anxiety Can Be Harmful
Stress is essentially any demand that’s placed on your physical body or brain. Caregivers can feel stressed out when multiple demands are placed on them at once, like juggling caregiving responsibilities with a household and job. According to the AARP, anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry or unease that’s a reaction to stress. However, anxiety can also occur when a person is unable to identify the stressors in their life.
If you’re an informal caregiver, watch for these warning signs of stress and anxiety:
- Rapid breathing
- Panic or nervousness
- Change in appetite
If not addressed, chronic stress and anxiety can cause serious physical and emotional health problems, including diabetes, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure and panic disorder.
Keeping Caregiver Anxiety Under Control
On top of their normal responsibilities, most caregivers are now worried about protecting their elderly loved ones from coronavirus. If you’re currently in this situation here’s how to keep caregiver anxiety under control:
Set realistic goals
It’s a fact that as your senior grows older as their needs change, they’ll require more care. Come to terms with the fact that you cannot control every situation. Set realistic goals and prioritize more important tasks, like getting mom’s meds refilled as opposed to washing her
Trying to juggle too many responsibilities at once overloads your brain, and then you start forgetting to do important tasks- like getting dad’s stove repaired. Organize your caregiving tasks by using a calendar, spreadsheet or good ole’ fashioned paper and pen. Create binders with your senior’s important information and keep those in a safe place.
Take care of yourself
Far too many family caregivers spend so much time taking care of others that they forget about themselves. That not only affects their health and wellbeing, but also that of their care recipient. To ensure that doesn’t happen to you take better care of yourself by:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a healthy diet
- Sleeping 7 to 8 hours per day
- Starting a gratitude journal
- Not abusing drugs, tobacco or alcohol
- Spending quality time with your spouse and kids
- Getting a complete physical every year
Join a support group
Another way to relieve stress and anxiety is by attending a caregiver support group or joining an online caregiver forum. Doing so will allow you to express your feelings, listen to others who understand what you’re going through, and pick up some caregiving tips along the way. Meeting with a licensed counselor is also a great way to release pent-up emotions and get some healthy advice.
Ask for help
Sharing the caregiving workload with others will help you stay recharged and refreshed. Here are some possible sources of “respite” care:
- Trustworthy family members and friends
- Meal delivery services
- Senior transportation services
- Adult daycare
- Community volunteers that work with the aging
- A professional respite caregiver from a licensed home care agency
An Extended Family in Your Senior’s Home
When you need to take a temporary break from your caregiving duties contact Adultcare Assistance Homecare. As a fully licensed and insured home care provider, our compassionate respite caregivers will serve as an extended family in your loved one’s home so they can continue aging comfortably in place right where they want to be. Our well trained and carefully screened aides can perform in-home duties like light housework, personal care, companionship, medication reminders and escorted transportation.
Our agency uses a unique approach that’s focused on maintaining your senior’s quality of life so they can age gracefully with dignity and independence. For your added convenience all our family trusted home care services can be individually personalized into an affordable package that’ll restore your peace of mind! To learn more about Adultcare Assistance Homecare, or to schedule a FREE in-home consultation for a senior now, please visit us at: www.adultcareassistance.com.