Often times, the pressure of providing care for the elderly can lead to stress. To prevent caregiver stress, it's crucial to know how to prevent and/or manage your stress.
If you are stressed, the geriatric patient you are caring for is going to notice. In many cases, this will make your geriatric patient also become stressed or even depressed, because they may feel responsible.
As caregivers, you need to be aware of what to look for before you become to stressed or even burned out. It is not only critical to your well-being, but the well-being of the geriatric resident you are caring for.
Warning Signs of Caregiver Stress
Your body will send out emotional, physical, emotional, and behavioral cautionary signs of caregiver stress.
- Inability to concentrate
- Worrying for no reason
- Periodic crying
- Recurrent mood swings
Physical warning signs:
- Tension headaches
- Stomach aches
- Sweaty palms
- Neck tension/pain
- Back pain
- Fatigue that will not go away
- Weight loss or gain
- Problems sleeping (falling asleep or staying asleep)
Behavioral warning signs
- Acting impulsive
- Substance abuse
- Withdrawing maybe even depression
- Changing jobs often (to try and escape the stress)
Things You Can Do To Relieve The Caregiver Stress
Finding ways to decrease caregiver stress may help decrease the long-term effects. Try some of these tips to help manage your caregiver stress.
- Keep a positive outlook and attitude.
- Learn to relax.
- Exercise regularly (exercise releases happy hormones)
- Get enough sleep.
- Eat healthy well balanced meals and snacks.
- Learn to use stress management techniques.
Relaxation Technique for Caregiver Stress
Try this quick and easy relaxation technique:
- The Two-minute relaxation technique – Sit quietly where you will not be disturbed and empty your mind and focus on your breathing for two minutes. This technique has been used for centuries and people of all walks of life use it often to relieve their stress.
By knowing the warning signs of caregiver stress, you will be better armed to cope with it as soon as it surfaces.