December 11, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Family Caregiver Stress

If you’re one of the 8% of Americans who actually achieve their New Year’s resolution goals, congratulations! But if you’re like most of us, you’ve given up before even turning the calendar page to February. While of course it’s admirable to strive to better ourselves by resolving to lose 10 pounds or eat healthier, for busy family caregivers, there are some truly meaningful, attainable goals that can improve life throughout the year.

Consider these ideas:

  • Find joy. Caring for another person is a labor of love, but can bring about challenges that make it hard to focus on the everyday positives that can spark joy. Take time each day to pause and discover a reason to smile. Bring humor into your daily caregiving tasks to share laughter with your loved one. Enjoy the feeling of the sun shining through the window as you’re sorting laundry. Call a friend who lifts your spirits for a quick chat.
  • See the big picture. Strive to take a step back from the busyness of your to-do list, and view the overall impact your caregiving is making. Because of you, your loved one is able to continue living in the comfort and familiarity of home. Because of you, life is the very best it can be for your loved one. Your contribution is priceless and is making a difference.
  • It’s extremely important to make mental wellness a priority, and one effective way to manage the many different responsibilities that come with providing care is to be fully present in the present. Picturing different rooms for different concerns can be helpful; so if you begin to worry about an upcoming medical procedure your loved one is facing while watching a movie with your kids, envision placing that concern in its appropriate room until later, and concentrating on the present.
  • Be kind to yourself. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of wishing you could do more for your loved one, or thinking about mistakes you’ve made that you wish you could change. Remind yourself that you are human, and that you’re doing important work for the senior you love. Appreciate the sacrifices you’re making, just as you would notice and appreciate them in another family caregiver.
  • Seek – and accept – help and support. Trying to be a superhero who handles everything independently can quickly lead to burnout and depression. Partnering with others to help your senior loved one is the best way to ensure his or her needs are fully met, while helping you achieve the healthy life balance you need and deserve.

At Home Independent Living, your Syracuse area and Bridgeport independent living care agency, is the perfect partner for family caregivers, providing highly skilled, professional, and compassionate care for seniors according to each person’s individual needs, while reducing family caregiver stress. Let us help! Call us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) and together we can develop a plan of care to make 2020 the best year yet – both for the senior in your care, and for yourself.