Caregiver Observances: Stress Awareness Month

Caregivers in River Forest IL

Caregivers in River Forest ILAs a family caregiver for your elderly parent, stress is probably a part of your daily life. Especially if you are part of the sandwich generation, you might find that your schedule is packed with more than you ever could have imagined that you would be facing, and even more than you think you can handle. This can result in intense stress that can make a severe impact on your physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive health. You may also notice that your ability to care for your parent is diminished as you struggle just to focus and finish each task on your to-do list.

April is Stress Awareness Month. This is the perfect time for you to be honest with yourself about the stress that you are experiencing and proactive about finding ways to ease that stress. Easing your stress and controlling it in your daily life is an important part of keeping yourself safe and healthy, and remaining the best caregiver possible for your elderly parent.
Use these tips to help you be more aware of your caregiver stress and find ways to ease it during Stress Awareness Month:

• Know the symptoms. You are going to be much more likely to control your stress if you are able to detect it as it begins rather than when it becomes severe. Some of the symptoms of stress include feeling anxious or nervous, headaches, difficulty concentrating, feeling tired, not feeling like you are able to make decisions, and digestive issues. If you start to notice these issues, evaluate why you think they are happening and start to implement techniques to reduce this stress.

• Take care of yourself. You are far more prone to stress and its consequences when you do not take proper care of yourself. Make sure that you eat a balanced diet, get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and exercise regularly. Just taking this little bit of time to concentrate on your own needs will make you stronger, healthier, and better prepared to cope with stress as it arises.

• Control stress. Adopt techniques for controlling your stress so that you are able to moderate it if it arises unexpectedly. There are many ways that you can ease stress throughout your day. Something as simple as having calming essential oils with you so that you can take a few sniffs of their calming scent when you need it can be extremely beneficial. You can also use techniques that ward off stress over the longer term. One of the most effective of these techniques is to give yourself something that you look forward to each day or each week. Knowing that you have your favorite glass of wine and a good book, a hot bubble bath, or a date night with your partner waiting for you can make it easier to get through challenging times during your week.

• Take a break. Just because you are the primary caregiver for your elderly parent does not mean that you have to be the only one who handles her needs. Taking a break occasionally and allowing someone else to step in and take care of some of her needs will give you a chance to decompress and focus on other things in your life so that you can come back refreshed and ready for your next challenge.

For help for family caregivers in River Forest, IL, call 708-761-4909. Serving La Grange, Oakbrook, Oakbrook Terrace, Brookfield, Westchester, Downers Grove, Berwyn, River Forest, Oak Park, Hinsdale, Chicago and surrounding communities.

About Joan Cisneros LPN

Joan Cisneros is COO and Agency Manager at Private Home Care Services of Oakbrook Terrace, IL. Joan has over 25 years of professional healthcare experience, including Private Duty Home Care, nursing, insurance, case management, training, and operations. Her area of expertise is Alzheimer¹s care, which she knows from both a professional and personal perspective. Her solid capabilities are enhanced by her compassionate approach and her personal mission to help people maintain their independence by providing the best possible home care.