Dealing with Caregiver Stress

Welcome to our Caregiver’s Blog. At ViaQuest we know the important role family caregivers play. We also know this is not an easy role. So we have started a new resource on our website to provide information, insights and resources to help caregivers succeed and remain whole while living this very important role. For our first blog, we’ve decided to share some insights on one of the most important realities of caregiving – dealing with stress. Here are some tips on how to handle the stress that is sure to come.

Reduce Stress, Increase Confidence.

Caring for yourself is just as important as caring for your loved one. Even the most resilient person can be worn down by the emotional and physical demands of caregiving. Here are some strategies on how to stay on top of stress.

Recognize when you are stressed. Common signs of stress consist of:

  • Anxiety, depression, irritability

  • Feeling tired and run down

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • New or worsening health problems

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Drinking, smoking, or eating more

  • Neglecting responsibilities

  • Cutting back on leisure activities

Strategies for Dealing with Caregiver Stress

  • Ask for and accept help. Make a list of ways that others can help you, and let the helper choose what they want to assist you with. For instance, a friend may offer to pick up groceries for you or walk your dog. Accept their help and don’t try to do everything on your own.

  • Take time for yourself. Keep in touch with friends and family, and continue to do things you enjoy. Find ways to pamper yourself such as, lighting candles and taking a long bath or going to get a manicure. Or whatever makes you feel good. Make regular time for things that bring you happiness, whether it be gardening or reading a book. Continuing to do things you love is a great way to relieve stress and lift your spirits.

  • Focus on what you can provide. Trust your decisions and believe that you are doing the best you can and making the best decisions you can at any given time.

  • Stay organized. Make to-do lists and create a daily routine. Break larger tasks into smaller steps that you can do one at a time.

  • Seek social support. Stay connected with family and friends that can offer you emotional support. Set aside time each week for friends and family to just talk or even go for a walk. Turn to friends or family who will listen and acknowledge your efforts.

  • Set personal health goals. Find time for physical activity and stay active throughout the week. Eat well and don’t rely on sugar and caffeine, which only provide a quick pick-me-up. Set a good sleep routine. Cutting back on sleep can worsen your mood, energy and productivity.

    One thing to always remember as you navigate your role as a caregiver, is that you do not have to handle this alone. ViaQuest Home Health and ViaQuest Hospice supports family caregivers by adding an extra layer of support and ensuring the wellbeing of both the caregiver and the patient.