June 19, 2019 by
Family caregivers devote much of themselves when caring for a loved one, and it’s not uncommon for stress or burnout to occur. Research shows that positive thinking for caregivers has the benefit of warding off some of these difficult feelings. Judith Moskowitz, a psychologist who subsequently launched a program to combat the downward spiral of emotions prevalent in those providing care for a senior loved one, says, “We’re not saying don’t be sad or upset about what’s going on. But we know people can experience positive emotions alongside that negative emotion, and that positive emotion can help them cope better.”
The core techniques in her program include the following:
- Maintain a journal of things for which you’re thankful – even the small things.
- Identify a minimum of one positive event each day.
- Share about this event with friends and family on social networks.
- Establish one new milestone each day, and keep track of your progress in achieving it.
- Identify one of your strengths and think about how you’re utilizing that strength.
- Undertake one daily simple act of kindness for another.
- Remember a negative occurrence, and then discover a way to view it in an optimistic light.
- Practice focused breathing and mindfulness to bring back a sense of calm.
For those providing care for a senior loved one with dementia, the necessity to place emphasis on positives is usually even more imperative to overall wellbeing. Family caregivers who participated in a recent 5-week study, in which the effectiveness of these coping skills was analyzed, reported a reduction in depression scores of 16%, and a reduction in anxiety of 14%.
In addition to the ideas above, it is essential for family caregivers to avoid isolating themselves and attempting to manage their caregiving duties alone, which can rapidly bring on caregiver burnout and other significant health conditions. Working with an experienced in-home care agency, like At Home Independent Living, is the ideal strategy to gaining a much healthier life balance – both for family caregivers and the older adults in their care. Periodic respite services can be customized to meet the needs of family caregivers.
Life is indeed stressful, but we are able to help! Consider how reliable home care services can enable you time to concentrate on self-care and high-quality time with those you love. Contact At Home Independent Living, provider of respite care in Clay, NY and the surrounding areas, at (315) 579-4663 to learn more about the power of positive thinking for caregivers and how we can help.