Posts Tagged ‘caregivers’

Managing Caregiver Stress Part 1: Identifying Triggers

Posted on: June 12th, 2014 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Are you a family caregiver struggling with stress?

Studies show family caregivers are under a tremendous amount of stress. Many are providing care for a relative for years on end, often with little or no help. Commonly reported feelings and conditions associated with the stress of caring for another include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Feelings of isolation, boredom, anger, resentment, guilt, and hopelessness
  • Feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities
  • Poor nutrition, lack of exercise and self-care
  • Sleep deprivation and fatigue due to constant nighttime interruption
  • Low energy and motivation
  • Physical aliments

Identifying Triggers

If you are a caregiver, keeping a journal is a first step to identifying your individual stress triggers and patterns related to caregiving. Once the triggers have been highlighted, you can then apply targeted solutions.
Consider the following questions on a daily basis and write down your answers in a notebook for two weeks.

  • What are my biggest causes of stress related to my caregiving tasks today?
  • How do they make me feel?
  • How do I respond, emotionally, verbally, and physically?
  • Do I take steps to make myself feel better and help alleviate my stress?
  • If yes, what are those steps and how do they provide relief?
  • If no, what do I do instead?

Journaling in this fashion provides self-awareness and can help caregivers face their feelings and stress triggers head on. As you keep track of your days, you should start to detect patterns of behavior. Document these patterns as well.

This exercise is a big first step in the direction of finding solutions to help manage and alleviate your caregiver stress. Often this is the hardest step as guilt can prevent caregivers from even acknowledging they are struggling.

Our next blog post focuses on resources and steps to finding solutions. Stay tuned!

Kim

Tips For Reducing Stress

Posted on: March 14th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Attention Caregivers! Sometimes we are so busy caring for others that we forget to tend to our own needs. Trying to be all things to all people while striving to get everything done on
your to-do list is an
unrealistic goal. The pursuit of “perfection” can produce enormous stress, unhappiness, and even illness. The Ten Commandments for Reducing Stress is a wonderful reminder that we should seek relaxation and balance in our lives. Print it, post it, and read it daily!

Kim

Ten Commandments for Reducing Stress

1. Thou shalt not be perfect nor even try to be.

2. Thou shalt not try to be all things to all people and spread thyself too thin.

3. Thou shalt leave things undone that ought to be done.

4. Thou shalt not criticize thyself for decisions that were made without the benefit of hindsight.

5. Thou shalt learn to say “No”.

6. Thou shalt schedule time for thyself and thy supportive network.

7. Thou shalt switch off and do nothing regularly.

8. Thou shalt be boring, untidy, inelegant, and unattractive at times.

9. Thou shalt not even feel guilty.

10. Especially, thou shalt not be thine own worst enemy, but be thy best friend.

Written by Hillary Langford

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Laughter is Good Medicine for Seniors and Caregivers

Posted on: November 8th, 2012 by Kim McCreery No Comments

 

Playful Laughter!

 

Laughter has many scientifically proven benefits for our mind/body/spirit. A daily dose of laughter can make a huge difference in the life of an older adult who might be dealing with physical ailments, isolation and depression. It can also provide a much needed lift for those dedicated caregivers who often neglect their own health. Here are a few of the sometimes surprising benefits.

  1. Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed
    for up to 45 minutes after.
  2. Laughter boosts the immune system.Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  3. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  4. Laughter lowers blood pressure and increases muscle range of motion.
  5. Laughter is great exercise. Dr. William Fry, well-known research scientist from Stanford University, scientifically proved that 10 minutes of laughter is equal to 30 minutes on the rowing machine. Laughter is a great cardiovascular workout. As an exercise, it has similar benefits as compared to other aerobic activities like jogging, swimming, and cycling.

Read more about the benefits of laughter at http://www.rxlaughter.org/t_reference.htm

Not finding anything funny? Practice laughing for no reason and you’ll reap the same benefits from fake laughter as you will from genuine laughter. Make it your goal to laugh continuously for 10 minutes a day, every day. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make in your life!

At Home Solutions offers free classes on laughter yoga in the communities we serve. Laughter Yoga combines playful laughing exercises and deep breathing, no contortion required! Classes are taught by a certified laughter yoga leader and are appropriate for seniors and adults with disabilities. For more information, call 1-888-496-3983

Older Seniors Can Benefit Big From a Little Help

Posted on: October 19th, 2012 by Kim McCreery No Comments

 

“I get by with a little help from my friends…”

This famous line from a Beatles song could be considered a life truism. All of our great accomplishments–whether it be winning the American War for Independence (thank you France, Spain, and the Dutch), building the Brooklyn Bridge, or creating a strong and healthy family–were the result of people working together to achieve a common goal.

Our goal
at At Home Solutions is to improve the quality of life for seniors and adults with disabilities who wish to remain in the comfort of their own homes. We understand that a little help can go a long way, so in addition to providing compassionate and skilled caregivers to help with the activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, meal preparation, housekeeping, medication reminders, transportation… to name a few!) we also collaborate with community agencies and trusted care partners like Geriatric Care Manager Lisa Nelson of A-Z Senior Solutions to meet our client’s various needs. Our combined efforts and resources make living at home a comfortable and manageable reality for hundreds of seniors and adults with disabilities in Arizona.

Upcoming post… Laughter: Why it’s so good for seniors. And a story on how a caregiver made a huge difference in a client’s life.

Kim

Welcome to Kim’s Blog

Posted on: October 18th, 2012 by Kim McCreery No Comments

 

Hello!

Welcome to my blog where I will be sharing heart-warming, inspirational, and often humorous caregiving thoughts, ideas, stories, and more.  Helping older adults, adults with disabilities, and those recovering from an illness or injury is both a passion and a privilege for me. After 15 years in the home care industry, I have a lot of tried and true information to share–information which can benefit seniors, their spouses, and their adult children as they navigate the often challenging journey of aging. Most seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible. Our in-home caregiving services and partnerships turn this wish into a comfortable and safe reality.

Kim