According to a study done at Yale University, at least 30% of caregivers for a dying loved one suffers from major depressive disorder. Even if you don't have depression, being someone's caregiver can be stressful and tiring. Luckily, you can take some action and help yourself to start feeling better and less overwhelmed. Consider these ideas to help you handle stress as a primary caregiver.
Get Support from Others Like You
Because you spend so much time caring for your loved one, it can be hard to remember that you're not the only one who is going through a situation like this. A wonderful way to handle your stress is to interact with others who are also primary caregivers. The internet can be a vital tool for searching out other caregivers; with a quick search, you can find forums and social media groups that put you in touch with other people who are caring for loved ones on a daily basis.
When you chat with others in similar situations, you can vent your frustrations and get ideas for fixing any problems you're experiencing. Moreover, you might be able to supply suggestions and support to others.
Go Out Without Your Loved One
You may think you get out a lot; you might take your loved one to sit on the beach or you may take walks together each day. However, in your role as caregiver, much of that time might be spent interacting with your loved one and tending to their needs. Getting some time away might be just what you need.
Heading out of the house without your loved one can benefit you in a number of ways. It can allow you to reconnect with yourself and take part in activities that your loved one cannot, for example. Free time can also help you catch up with friends or other loved ones who don't get as much of your time as they used to.
A major obstacle to leaving your loved one is that you might feel guilty about it. Even if you leave them with a friend or relative, you might worry about whether your loved one is in good hands. One way to help you feel better about going out is to enlist supportive in-home care professionals to help. You can relax knowing that your loved one is in the hands of a professional who can handle any situation.
Using the advice above can help you to start coping with the stress of being a primary caregiver. If you take action as described in this article, you can feel confident about your ability to handle both your caregiving duties and your own self-care. Talk with local in-home care agencies for more suggestions about how they might help you.
For supportive, in-home care, contact a business such as Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care.