Some warning signs of caregiver stress are:
· Decreased interest in hobbies
· Withdrawal from friends and other family members
· Weight loss or weight gain
· Anxiety and irritability
If you are experiencing any of these warning signs or know of someone who is, there are ways to manage stress in a proactive way so that you don’t experience caregiver burn out.
Asking for Help: Volunteers at a local church may know of a program where a companion can come to sit with your loved one for a few hours. Home Care companies here in DuPage County can provide respite care in the home. Adult Day Centers and Assisted Living Communities can provide a safe environment for your loved one outside the home. Contact your local senior advisor here in the Chicago suburbs today to discuss respite options that are best for your family.
Giving Yourself a Break: Be sure you are making time to eat three meals a day and getting as much rest as possible. Try to set aside a half hour per day for something you like to do. A hobby, a pedicure or even a brief walk can give you the relief you need to get through the rest of the day.
Join a Support Group: Caregiver support groups can help make you feel like you are not alone. Meet with other caregivers who understand the feelings you may be experiencing. If you relate to a member of the group, keep in touch with one another to support each other in your care giving journey.
Rick Graffagna – Assisted Transition