Strategies to Reduce Caregiver Stress

WEEKLY COMMUNICATOR (300 x 100 px) (200 × 100 px) (1)

ACCEPT HELP

  • Identify the biggest caregiving hurdle and brainstorm solutions with a trusted family member or friend.
  • For those in the “sandwich generation” providing care for parents and children, carefully assess stressors. Discuss ways to simplify and assign responsibilities to others in the home.
  • Schedule a Care Plan visit every year at Memory & Movement Charlotte (MMC) to identify and discuss strategies for:
    • The home situation and care needs
    • Stressors and management techniques
    • Future planning
  • Read the website document Creating a Care Team for more information on how best to allow others to help.

SELF-CARE

  • Share concerns with the MMC team of experts, who are skilled in assisting with ways to reduce stress.
  • Connect with a member of your Care Team for support.
  • Attend a caregiver support group.
  • Talk with a counselor or therapist experienced in life transitions, chronic illness, and caregiver stress. Referrals can be made through MMC or by visiting the website www.psychologytoday.com
  • Annual physicals with the Primary Care Physician are essential to monitor health.
  • Engage in positive experiences regularly such as:
    • Watching an old sitcom
    • Viewing funny puppy videos online
    • Reading the comics
    • Playing a game
  • Identify activities that create moments of joy and perform them more often.
  • Practice mindfulness – being present in the moment and noticing the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings surrounding it.
  • Schedule alone time to disconnect from the stressors and engage in relaxing activities that promote peace, such as:
    • Prayer
    • Meditation
    • Yoga
    • Taking a walk
    • Listening to or reading an inspirational message
    • Taking a warm bath
    • Manicure or pedicure
    • Massage
    • Visiting a park or museum
    • Dining at a new restaurant (or an old favorite)
  • Create an area in the home specifically for relaxing, complete with a comfortable seating area and a stand for placing a book, cup, or plant. Use the area as a retreat during the day.
  • Perform hands-on activities that engage the mind, like crafts, arranging flowers, or woodworking.
  • Designate one day per week to accomplish tasks associated with running the home (e.g., paying bills, making phone calls, running errands, etc.)
  • Consider reducing the number of hours spent at work outside the home or reduce the number of projects. If feasible, request a personal leave from work under the Family Medical Leave Act. Discuss options with the employer.

ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES

  • Engaging in activities with the care recipient can refocus attention on meaningful interactions, rather than care responsibilities.
  • Read the website document Engagement Activities for more information.

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