Caring for an elderly parent or someone with Alzheimer's or Dementia can be incredibly taxing. You are providing for someone else and often putting their needs before your own, which is a recipe for stress. It's important to find healthy ways to help cope with that stress so you can be the best caregiver you can be!
Here are a few tips and resources to help you cope with the stress of being a caregiver:
Ask for support from other caregivers.
You are not alone. There are many individuals out there experiencing the same thing as you. Learning that others have had or are in similar experiences can be an enormous relief. An easy way to find support from other caregivers is to join a caregiver support group near you or virtually. There are a variety of support groups that offer support for various conditions as well as for different types of caregivers.
Seek help from a therapist.
Don't be afraid to seek therapy services, whether in person or virtual. There are many options depending on your schedule. Even if you think you are feeling okay, having someone to talk to and process your feelings can be beneficial. If you need help locating a therapist within your budget, DailyCaring has compiled a list of ways to locate affordable therapy services.
Give yourself a break.
We all need a break from time to time, and that includes caregivers! Don't be afraid to take a moment of peace for yourself. There are various ways to have respite time, including having another loved one relieve you for a few hours, utilizing an adult day center, or hiring a trusted professional for a couple of hours a month.
If funding for a respite caregiver is an issue, the Access to Respite Care and Help National Respite Network has compiled a state-by-state resource for funding sources for respite care.
Let technology help you.
Technology advances have not only helped move us forward but have also developed ways to keep an eye on a loved one when you're not around. For example, the EyeOn App alerts people designated as your loved one's check-in buddies if they fail to check in on their phone after a set period of time. In-home reminders and alarms can be set on smart home devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
If you are having to administer a lot of medication, you can have all the prescriptions filled through MedMinder, and they will deliver the medicine presorted in individual compartments. MedMinder’s smart medicine dispenser will tell your loved one when to take their medicine and what compartment to open. Every little bit helps!
Give yourself a pat on the back.
When you are in the midst of a stressful situation, it can be hard to take a step back and give yourself credit for the work you are doing. Being a caregiver is NOT easy, and it's important to remind yourself that you are doing a great job in a tough situation.
Need help planning for your loved one's future?
If you would like to discuss long-term care planning for your family member, check out our free guide, Hope for Caregivers: ABCs of Long-Term Care and Legal Planning, and contact us at Carolina Family Estate Planning at 919-500-7757 in Cary, North Carolina, to begin the long-term care planning process today.