With more and more seniors aging in place, the rise in caregivers who are not health professionals has begun to increase as well. Informal caregivers may find that their work is rewarding, since they ensure that their loved one is getting the care they need and able to live their twilight years how they want; but it typically is stressful.
Too often, when this stress is left unchecked, it may lead to burnout and frustration. Below are a few tips to help you better handle the stress that comes with being a caregiver.
Don't Neglect Self-Care
As a caregiver, you likely put everyone else's needs ahead of your own, making it easy to forget to take care of yourself. Try to work in at least a half-hour to an hour a day to take care of yourself. This could include something simple, like caring for your nails or making yourself something healthy to eat. You could also use this time to fit in a little exercise or relax in the tub. Another important part of self-care is ensuring that you get enough rest. Poor sleep affects your health in many ways.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help
It may be difficult to get everything done when you're responsible for someone's care, and because of that, it is important to ask for help when you need to. See if your friends or family are able to help provide care for a period of time, even just once or twice a week so that you get time away or get things done. If you don't have anyone to help with care, see if someone might cook a meal for you, run some errands, or just pick up the weekly groceries.
Connect With Other Caregivers
Finding a support system that is experiencing the same things that you are will help you get through the rough periods and may help provide you with suggestions to make your job easier. Support groups may also have information about community resources in your area that will provide needed services, such as transportation, food delivery, housekeeping, and even respite care options. On top of that, you will be able to connect with friends who are understanding of your situation.
If you are a caregiver, try out the tips above to help manage some of your daily stress. And if you or your loved one are stressed about planning for the financial future, contact LPL financial today for assistance.
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