Handling Stress

Handling Stress

By Cheryl Theriault

Caring for an ill or disabled parent can be particularly challenging while juggling the competing demands of work, family and caregiving. It is important to get the emotional and practical support you need to cope with the stress of being a caregiver. Taking care of yourself will help ensure that you are physically and emotionally able to care for your impaired parent.

  • Plan ahead.
  • Take one day at a time.
  • Develop contingency plans.
  • Obtain up-to-date information.
    Aging Family Services can provide a variety of caregiver-related fact sheets and other materials to help you make informed decisions.
  • Ask for help.
    Don’t try to do everything yourself. A sibling, relative or friend may be able to help you. Or, we can offer specialized care planning guidance to help you get through the “maze” of long-term care options.
  • Attend a support group.
    Caregivers face some uniquely challenging and emotional decisions and daily tasks. You may be able to benefit by sharing your experiences with others who are in a similar situation. Alzheimers North Carolina  also has support groups listed on their website. Resources for Seniors also publishes a list of local support groups with contact names and numbers.
  • Be patient.
    There may be good days and bad days. Learn how to communicate effectively with your parent without laying blame. It will take some time to arrange services that address all needs.
  • Give yourself a break.
    Remember to schedule some time to relax. “Respite care” is designed to allow a break for the caregiver, and can last an hour, a day, or even a week.

Warning Signs of Caregiver Stress

  • Anger at elder, family, doctors, services
  • Withdrawal/feeling overwhelmed
  • Anxiety/constant worry
  • Depression/no pleasure in anything anymore
  • Exhaustion/sleeplessness
  • Worsening of chronic conditions
  • Irritability
  • Lack of concentration/disorganization
  • Change in appearance of caregiver or environment
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A Note from a Client

Thank you so much for the excellent service you provided. I think your caption, “Providing Peace of Mind” is very appropriate. Mother & Daddy were both very pleased…

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