Ways to De-Stress: A Guide for Caretakers

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Ways to De-Stress: A Guide for Caretakers

Taking care of yourself is tough enough, but add in the responsibility felt for taking care of someone else and it can be a high-stress, full-time job. Caretakers get little credit for the long hours they endure and often they put themselves last when it comes to self-care. However, to stay the course for the long-term, it’s important that caretakers learn how to weave in ways to de-stress, even as they continue to care for others.

Building a support system to take some of the burden off their shoulders is an excellent way to create the framework needed to de-stress routinely. Another is to set aside some time for activities that they enjoy, like gardening or working out. Finally, a caretaker’s life can be greatly facilitated with the right tools to do their job efficiently, leading to less frustration and more enjoyment for both the individual with a disability and the caregiver.

Create an Active Support System

Caretakers dealing with an individual with a terminal illness or a disability will be on the job 24×7 unless they can get some relief from others. Fortunately, there are ways to build a caring community of helpers who can at least provide you with some needed time off. Hospitals and non-profits often sponsor support groups for caregivers. They may focus on a particular type of caretaker, like someone with an individual with a mental challenge or a cancer patient in the home.

However, you can also set up your own support group as long as you can manage a calendar and have people willing to help you out every now and then. Schedule time for people to come and spend time with an individual in whatever way they can help, then use that time to get some needed “me” time into your own schedule.

Have a Ready Outlet

Once you do get time to yourself, make sure you have everything you need to engage a favorite hobby or pastime ready at hand. If you enjoy gardening, make sure you already have the tools, seeds, and beds ready for whatever activity you want to engage. If you prefer doing crossword puzzles, make sure you have a magazine rack full of potential teasers. Don’t use your extra time getting ready. If you can plan ahead for these times by ordering supplies online, you can get them delivered to your door before you actually need them. Use free time to engage the hobby fully. It will help melt the worry much faster that way. Similarly, when you re-engage the caretaking mode, you should be ready with the tools you need to make life easier.

Tools to Facilitate Caretaking

Taking care of others who have limited mobility can strain your back. However, without mobility aids people can end up housebound. It’s important to get wheelchairs, handicapped vans, and scooters to increase the quality of life of the person who needs care. Small tools to reach cans in pantries or handlebars to support body weight in the bathroom also help. It helps the individual with limited mobility. It also can help the caretaker by allowing them the ability to move the individual around much easier than trying to lift them. It can save both bones and headaches when trying to figure out how to get a patient to a doctor or how to just move them down the hall towards a handicap-accessible restroom.

Even if you think these items may be unaffordable, they’re not. You can get help from the Medicare program or non-profit organizations that have funds to help individuals with special needs get the tools they need for a higher quality of life. Individuals who are trained to use these tools will also experience greater self-sufficiency, which can reduce the frustration of requiring help for even minor tasks. It also helps the caretaker reduce the demands on their own time since the patient is enabled to take care of his or herself.

Paisley Hansen
She is a freelance writer and expert in fleece fabric, and health and beauty. When she isn't writing she can usually be found reading a good book.
Paisley Hansen

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