Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
While caring for our elderly loved ones is of the utmost importance, it is also very necessary to make sure the emotional and physical welfare of the caregivers is nurtured as well.
Family members who care for their loved ones typically have no formal training, leaving them more vulnerable to the stressors associated with care giving. According to a study performed by Steven Zarit, professor and head of human development and family studies at Penn State, there are 15 most common stressors that may lead to emotional breakdowns or depression, including financial strain, increased devotion to care giving and patient behaviors.
About 4 million people care for their elderly family members, reports Zarit. “Behavior issues are a common stressor, but caregivers don’t always report that their family member has behavior issues. Some feel more strain from the sense that they’ve lost a relationship with their family member or because of conflict with siblings or others.”
The most common way to help caregivers is to teach them certain coping methods, although these interventions usually only focus on one specific set of stressors.
While these interventions are beneficial in the long run, there are other, smaller ways a caregiver can cope with the pressures of care giving. An article on Caring.com lists 5 simple stress relievers that a caregiver can do during their day-to-day to lighten their mood:
• Turn on music
• Eat with their loved one
• Stay positive
• Give hugs!
These are only a few methods to reduce caregiver stress. Click here to read more about this topic http://www.caring.com/articles/home-care-made-easier.
A happy caregiver is a happy loved one!