How stressed do you feel when you’re caring for an aging parent?
A 2015 AARP study on family caregivers uncovered a few startling facts. In the U.S., more than 34 million people are providing care to an adult over the age of 50.
Half of those people felt they had no choice but to provide the care.
Almost 4 out of 10 family caregivers feel emotionally stressed. Those who were caring for a family member reported even higher levels of stress than those caring for a family friend or neighbor.
Family caregivers often balance the care of an older man or woman with the care of their own family and home. They also might balance a full or part-time job with their caregiving duties. It becomes overwhelming.
The Effects of Stress
Take a look at some of the common symptoms of stress. Stress can lead to headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, and sleep issues. It can lead to poor eating habits. You may be so tired after caring for a parent that you stop at a fast food place for a quick meal.
That poor diet is high in saturated fats and sodium. It’s also likely high in sugar if you have a soft drink. That can affect your blood pressure, artery, and blood vessel health, and increase the risk of diabetes. It also increases the risk of gaining weight and becoming obese.
If you’re experiencing fatigue, it can make you too tired to exercise. The lack of exercise also negatively affects you. It’s suggested that people get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day. If you’re too tired, you increase the risk of many health issues. It also allows your muscles to deteriorate, which can lead to your own issues with mobility, arthritis, and poor health.
How Do You De-Stress?
There are three key steps to helping ease stress.
-First, get a lot of exercise. Spend an hour a day taking a long walk, attending a Yoga or Tai Chi class, or playing a favorite sport.
-Second, socialize as often as possible. Don’t let the care you provide to your mom or dad keep you from seeing friends. Go out for meals, attend social events, and participate in social clubs.
-Third, leave time every day for an enjoyable activity. If you love to read, set an hour aside before bed where you can curl up with a cup of herbal tea and a book. You don’t have to buy those books. Borrow them from a library or sign up for a service like BookBub that recommends free e-books in your preferred genres.
Arrange senior care services to help you avoid stress. Respite care is a service you really need to discuss. You’ll get to take breaks while professional caregivers step up to help your mom or dad around the home. Call a senior care agency to discuss the cost of respite care and other home care services.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Sun City, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Blessings for Seniors Companion Care at (623) 594-0819