Caregiver Health - What Are You
When I was in college and well into my mid twenties I worked in several nursing homes and skilled care
facilities. It is a hard and thankless job that many loving and caring people do day in and day out. Recently I
got the honor of taking care of my grandpa in his home after he suffered a stroke. It reminded me of just how
hard this job is. Unfortunately my grandpa passed away a few months ago but I wanted to write this in honor of
all the people who take care of others as their profession.
It seems too often in this profession we are so busy paying attention to other peoples needs that we forget
to take care of ourselves. Most the people I worked with have had back problems at one time or another, they
don't get enough exercise, they drink too much caffeine and their diet is horrible. We need to remember that we
are important! It is vital that we take time each and every day to take care of ourselves. Eat right, get some
exercise and most importantly understand that you are worth the effort.
It takes a special kind of person to do this job. Not only is it hard physically but also emotionally and
psychologically. Imagine creating bonds with people day in and day out knowing that they only have days or
months to live. Don't get me wrong, not everyone in a facility is on their death bed but I would say in my
years in the business approximately one person a month that I took care of on a daily basis would die.
It's time that we all understand that we should not feel guilty for putting ourselves first sometimes.
Caregivers are always thinking of other people and their needs so this is hard for us sometimes but just
remember if your are not physically or emotionally able, who will take care of your loved ones?
Take time everyday to exercise, eat right and take time to enjoy yourself. Not only will you feel better
physically but you will find that you are better able to handle both the emotional and the psychological
aspects of your job. You owe it to yourself and the people you are caring for.
This article is from Ezine
Signs of Caregiver Stress - Anxiety May Be the
Taking care of my mother for nine years taught me about caregiver stress. My mother had progressive dementia
and, as the years passed, she turned into a stranger. I didn't know her any more. Though my husband often
helped with caregiving tasks, most of the responsibilities were mine. Caregiving became a lonely
"Many caregivers do most or all of the caregiving for a loved one alone," according to the Elder
Independence of Maine Website. The organization lists the warning signs of stress in its article, "The Stresses
of Caregiving." The signs of stress include denial, anger, social withdrawal, anxiety, depression, exhaustion,
sleeplessness, irritability, lack of concentration, and personal health problems.
The Alzheimer's Association lists the same signs in a Website article, "Caregiver Stress." According to the
article, "Too much stress can be damaging to both a caregiver and the person with Alzheimer's." This comment
also applies to those who are caring for someone with sudden or chronic illness. I had all of the signs of
caregiving, but anxiety was the worst. My anxiety could be divided into four parts.
1. Financial anxiety. I moved my mother to Minnesota and found a senior housing apartment for her. After she
moved in I discovered she had been defrauded of $50,000 and her remaining money was almost gone. But she
continued to spend money at an alarming rate. In fact, she became an addictive spender. Needless to say, I
worried about her spending constantly.
2. Behavior anxiety. My mother became an angry, unpredictable person. She had a fist fight with one of the
senior housing residents and stole a teddy bear from another. She put a can of soda in the microwave and it
caught fire and melted. She went for a walk, fell down and injured her shoulder so badly that surgeons had to
install a new socket. "What will happen next?" became the question of the day.
3. Anticipatory grief anxiety. On a snowy, sub-zero night she called to tell me she was running away. Her
plan was to return to Long Island and stay with friends. Unfortunately, all of her friends had died. So I
called her doctor and he transferred her to nursing care. She lived there for several years and the day I
dreaded finally came. My mother didn't recognize family members or me. Each morning I wondered if this would be
the day she died.
4. Personal anxiety. I was so immersed in caregivng that I didn't take good care of myself. Physically run
down, I was susceptible to colds, flu, and strep throat. During nine years of caregiving I gained 25 pounds.
The weight gain was embarrassing and I wondered if I would be able to shed the extra pounds.
If you have several signs of stress, act on your behalf now. Don't risk burn out. According to a WebMD
article, "Heart Disease: Recognizing Caregiver Burnout," caregivers who have burn out "may experience fatigue,
stress, anxiety and depression." Other signs of burnout include a lack of interest in activities, weight
gain/loss, getting sick often, physical and emotional exhaustion.
To care for others you must care for yourself. Whether it is reading, listening to music, or going for a
walk, try to do something for yourself each day. Difficult as it can be, caregiving is an expression of love,
and you can give yourself credit for that.
Copyright 2009 by Harriet Hodgson
This article is from Ezine
Stress Relief For Carers - How to Cope If You Are a
If any group of people is in need of stress relief, carers are that group. It is
a carer who, without pay or compensation, helps a relative, neighbor or friend who could not manage without
their help. It is a carer who alleviates the pain of the sick and who helps children and the elderly get
around town. Carers are often stressed and, as important members of our society, they deserve help getting
relief from their stress.
Contribution to Society
A carer often
does not choose to take on the role of caregiver. Instead, they have a child, a parent or a friend who
needs assistance and they do what many of us would do in that situation. They help. They drive to
doctor's appointments, they grocery shop, they clean, they cook and they provide
As a society,
we depend on caregivers to do just that. Otherwise, we would need to hire people to do the same things
and that would be expensive and a drain on the finances of many
A Carer's Burden Yet, despite its many benefits, the role of carer does not
come without sacrifices for the carer. The carer often has to make sacrifices in his or her own life in
order to meet the demands of the carer role. A carer might have to sacrifice weekend time with his or her
own kids in order to take care of his or her parents or miss a work event to take a friend to a doctor's
appointment, for example.
Carers Need and Deserve It
This can lead
to anxiety, tension and depression for the caregiver. The demands of leading one's own life and caring
for another person can be overwhelming and stressful.
How Carers Can
Often the best
kind of help for the constant worry and nervous tension that come from being a carer is the kind that the
carer can find on his or her own. A carer's spare time is precious so it is important that help be both
efficient and effective.
Hypnotherapy Can Help
Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) and hypnotherapy work together to train a person's mind to relax.
Instead of feeling stressed out and torn in many directions, a person will learn to appreciate the moment
and feel good about the care that they are giving a loved one.
hypnotherapy can help you relax. While, they can't completely eliminate stress they can help you put it
in perspective, stay calm and take pride in a job well done.
Learning to relax and to appreciate that you are doing the best that you can
do, will probably allow you to sleep better at night. Gone will be the nights of tossing and turning
because you are worried about all of your responsibilities. Instead, NLP and hypnotherapy will give you
the freedom to enjoy your life and to take pride in your accomplishments. It is important to be able to
achieve stress relief; carers more than any other group appreciate this and deserve to achieve
J J Seymour is a writer with Self Help Recordings. Hypnotherapy and NLP can be very
effective for Stress Relief Carers - one good source of
experienced hypnotherapists and NLP practitioners is Just Be Well. This organization has
experienced professionals throughout the UK in London, Birmingham, Bristol,
Buckinghamshire, East Anglia, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Surrey, Sussex and Scotland.
You will also find links to related practitioners for providing stress-relief for carers
in Vancouver and Toronto, Canada, for Dublin, Ireland, and for Sydney, Melbourne and
Perth in Australia. If you are unable to visit a practitioner in person you may well
benefit from a good and guaranteed self hypnosis recording such as Relief From Stress, by experienced
hypnotherapist Duncan McColl.
This article is from Ezine
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