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Posts Tagged “caregiver burnout”

Family Caregivers: Make Mini-Vacations One of Your Resolutions This Year!

senior caregivers

From enjoying a night out with friends to going for a walk in the woods, find out why mini-vacations are beneficial for family caregivers.

Making New Year’s resolutions is a time-honored tradition, but for many of us, keeping those resolutions can be a challenge. If better self-care is one of your New Year’s resolutions, and you’re a caregiver, it’s important not to let this particular goal slide. Being a family caregiver is a stressful job, and self-care is vital for mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. With the support of Phoenix, AZ home care services, family caregivers can have plenty of mini-vacations to help make 2019 a healthier and happier year.

What’s a mini-vacation, you ask? For those with multiple obligations – caregiving, kids, and a fulltime job, to name just a few – and very little time to travel, mini-vacations can be a lifeline to some much needed rest and relaxation. If you’re in need of some inspiration for a mini-vacation from your caregiving duties, the senior caregivers at Nightingale Homecare have compiled the following list:

  1. Get a massage: As we’ve said, caregiving can be stressful, and often people carry that stress in their necks, shoulders, and backs. What better way to get some me-time and relief than booking a massage at a local day spa?
  2. Go for a hike: Spending time outside in nature can lead to some significant health benefits. In fact, going for a walk in the woods has been shown to improve short term memory, reduce blood pressure, eliminate fatigue, and combat anxiety and depression. Choose your favorite local park or hiking trail and spend the day just enjoying nature.
  3. Pick up a once-loved activity: Whether it’s knitting, playing guitar, or painting, returning to an activity you once loved can be healing. Consider taking a day or a weekend to drag out your arts and crafts supplies or dust off an old instrument and start playing again.
  4. Treat yourself (and perhaps a date) to a new restaurant: You may not be able to travel to Italy at the moment, but you can try out that new Italian place everyone’s raving about! Take a friend or loved one with you for some good food and conversation.
  5. Enjoy a show: A dark, quiet movie theater is always a good way to relax, but for something a little different, get tickets to a live performance. Whether it’s a concert from a band you love or a play at your local community theater, being part of the action can help you remember to embrace life outside of your caregiving, work, and family obligations.

Making time for ourselves is difficult today, especially for family caregivers. However, self-care is an important part of our health. If you are caring for a loved one and need respite care, contact the Phoenix, AZ home care experts at Nightingale Homecare. We can give you the time you need to rest and enjoy life while ensuring your loved one is safe, happy, and healthy.

Posted in Blog, Caregiving, Family Caregivers on January 9th, 2019 · Comments Off on Family Caregivers: Make Mini-Vacations One of Your Resolutions This Year!

Caring for the Caregiver: How to Provide Better Care for Your Loved One by Taking Care of Yourself

Caregiver Respite CareWe all know that caring for a loved one comes with challenges; more stress and less self-care time. But often things can be so hectic, caregivers end up putting their own health at risk. If you are the primary caregiver for an elder loved one, these tips can help you stay at optimum health in order to better care for your loved one.

Healthy Eating

With a lifestyle that’s continually on the go, the food we eat is critically important for good health. Resisting the temptation to settle for fast food and taking some time to menu-plan for the week can help you stay on track. You can even involve your loved one in assisting with some safe steps in the meal preparation. Look for seasonal vegetables and do some Internet searches on quick preparation for healthy meals. Stick to shopping around the perimeter of the market (where more fresh and healthy foods are located) and avoid prepared foods that are often loaded with unhealthy calories. If time is an issue, consider ordering your groceries or have a personal chef or another family member prepare several healthy meals to keep on hand during the week. Nix the chips and instead keep carrot sticks, yogurt and apple slices available for quick snacks.

Exercise

You may think that all your moving and dashing about all day gives you plenty of exercise, but this kind of activity often leaves you exhausted and more stressed. Exercise, whether it be a daily walk, yoga, or hitting it at the gym, provides you with necessary stress relief and deep breathing that will lead to sustained health benefits and improved relaxation and rest. Carving out 20 minutes to an hour every day to commit to exercise may be challenging, but is one of the best ways to improve your overall health and combat stress.

Rest

We realize that living with an elder loved one is much more than a 9-5 commitment, and often sleep is interrupted due to your loved one’s care needs. Having a consistent bedtime routine for your loved one and for yourself can lead to more rest-filled nights for both of you. Things like avoiding TV and other electronics, avoiding alcohol, taking a long bath, turning on relaxing music, meditating and/or prayer help many people feel more rested and ready for sleep, especially when practiced routinely. If you and your loved one miss out on sleep during night-time hours, consider a 30-minute nap during the day. Many times, that’s all it takes to help restore us for the rest of the day ahead.

Make Time for You

Self-care and time for yourself is imperative to maintain a healthy outlook and reduce caregiver burnout. It doesn’t have to be a day-long spa treatment, although it can be! Self-care should be consistent to allow you to recharge. It can include lunch with friends, journaling, meditating, taking up a hobby, or just activities that make you laugh, cry and feel. When our days are filled with the commitment of taking care of others, taking time to connect with yourself is a necessity.

The best way family caregivers can ensure that time is carved out for self-care is by enlisting the help of a trusted home care agency, like Nightingale Homecare. Our respite care services fill in the gaps with compassionate, experienced care for seniors, allowing their loved ones a much needed break to recharge. Contact us at (602) 504-1555 to learn more about how our professional Phoenix caregivers can help improve quality of life – for the seniors you love, and for you!

 

Posted in Blog, Caregiving, Family Caregivers, Phoenix on October 18th, 2017 · Comments Off on Caring for the Caregiver: How to Provide Better Care for Your Loved One by Taking Care of Yourself

Top 10 Ways to Combat Caregiver Stress

caregiver burnoutCaring for a senior loved one, in the minds of those who haven’t experienced it, may seem totally manageable. How hard can it be, after all? Leisurely meals, relaxing afternoons of naps, card games, maybe a stroll around the block, stopping to smell the flowers, making your own schedule…the relaxed pace in the life of a retired senior.

The reality is, however, that caregivers have been shown to have 23% more stress hormones than non-caregivers, along with 15% less antibody responses, according to the American Psychological Association. And if the senior loved one being cared for suffers from a chronic condition, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or COPD, the strain is even greater.

If you’re responsible for your elderly loved one’s care and are feeling heightened levels of stress (which can exhibit as irritability, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, trouble sleeping, or feelings of resentment towards the person in your care), try the following tips recommended by Helpguide.org:

  1. Share your concerns – and accept help. It’s important to let friends and family know what you’re going through and to enlist their help.
  2. Do something just for you. Devote at least one half-hour per day to spend on something you enjoy.
  3. Incorporate laughter. Laughter is a great stress-buster; choose humorous reading materials and TV shows, and talk with friends who lift your spirits.
  4. Boost your energy and mood. Surprisingly, exercising enhances your energy level, rather than depleting it, and improves your mood as well. Strive for at least 30 minutes each day.
  5. Stay nourished. While it may be tempting to grab quick meals and snacks high in sugar or caffeine, you’ll feel better longer by choosing fresh, wholesome foods like fruit, whole grains, lean meat and vegetables.
  6. Get away from it all. Even if it’s just going outside for a brief walk or shopping trip, make sure you’re getting away from home for periods of respite.
  7. Look on the bright side. In the midst of the challenges and struggles, find something positive about your caregiving role – the difference you’re making in your loved one’s life, or the strength of character you’re developing.
  8. Keep a broad perspective. As much time as caregiving may be taking, be sure to focus some energy on other outlets that bring meaning to your life.
  9. Make your own wellness a priority. You can best care for someone else when you’re in good health, so keep up with your own medical appointments and care.
  10. Count more sheep. Rather than cutting back on sleep to try to accomplish more, getting 8 hours of sleep reduces stress and improves your mood and energy levels.

Even the most devoted caregiver needs support to keep stress at bay. Nightingale Homecare offers Phoenix home care services that work in tandem with family caregivers, allowing for continuous, compassionate care for seniors and a time of rejuvenation for the family members providing their care. We invite you to call us at 602-504-1555 to learn more.

Posted in Caregiving on June 3rd, 2015 · Comments Off on Top 10 Ways to Combat Caregiver Stress