How to reduce stress in caregivers this holiday season

There may come a time when you become a caregiver to a family member. Helping them manage treatment for chronic conditions can help both of you live happier, healthier lives.
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Between planning holiday celebrations, buying gifts for family or friends and taking care of an elderly family member, the holidays can add pressure and stress to caregivers who may already have a lot on their plate.

To help avoid added stress, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America offers some tips for caregivers to make this holiday season a little easier.

It is important to have support from outside family and friends. Asking for help can be difficult for some, but it can be vital so caregivers don’t become overwhelmed. Asking for assistance with errands and transportation can give caregivers a break to take care of other tasks that may have been neglected.

Make time for yourself. Understandably, caregivers usually put the person they are caring for above themselves. Neglecting yourself can lead to “caregiver burnout” and can compromise the ability to effectively care for your loved one.

Some facilities in Santa Clarita offer short-term respite care so caregivers can have a few days away from day-to-day routines. The change of pace can also be beneficial to the senior as well, and offer an introduction to long-term care.

Exercising and eating proper foods are widely known to alleviate stress. Taking walks several times a week can be beneficial to caregivers and seniors’ health. Eating a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables and plenty of water play a key role in staying healthy. Along with those, getting a good night’s sleep is vital in giving quality care.

Look into community resources. Some facilities may offer low- to no-cost assistance such as nurse checks, meal delivery and adult day programs.

Taking it one day at a time can help put things into perspective. Set priorities and realistic goals, and don’t take on too many tasks at once. Speaking with a licensed professional can help one cope with stress.

For more tips and resources for caregivers, visit the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s webpage at https://alzfdn.org/caregiving-resources/ 

Metro Creative contributed to this report.

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