Taking on the role of being a family caregiver can be one of the most meaningful decisions that you ever make. This is a way for you to show love, compassion, and respect for your parent and ensure that they are able to live the quality of life that they desire and deserve as they age in place. The challenges and difficulties that can come with being a caregiver, especially if you are caring for a senior who is living with a health complication or diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, or another problem, however, it can also be very stressful.
Caregivers are much more likely to experience high levels of stress and the consequences of that stress. This can lead to potentially serious mental, emotional, and even physical health consequences. Finding ways to cope with your stress and support your mental and emotional health can help you to not only be the best caregiver possible for your senior but also to protect your own well-being for when this caregiving relationship comes to an end.
November is National Gratitude Month.
This is the perfect time for you to find more ways in your daily life that you can express and experience gratitude, which can be a powerful means of relieving stress, easing mental health challenges, and boosting your optimism and a positive perspective on the world around you. One way that you can do this is starting a gratitude journal.
A gratitude journal is a place where you can record the things that happen each day that are beautiful, wonderful, and fulfilling, and for which you are grateful. This allows you to look back on these items when you are feeling stressed and need a reminder of the light at the end of every tunnel.
Use these tips to help you ease stress and boost your well-being through a gratitude journal:
–Find a journal that you like to look at and that you feel expresses your personality.
-Date each entry so that it remains organized and you can look back on each day on its own. This is particularly valuable if you are also keeping another journal. If certain days have entries that are more negative or that record many upsetting events or situations, you can look to the coordinating entry in your gratitude journal to remind yourself that there are wonderful things even during difficult times.
-Record anything that you are grateful for. Remember that this journal is for you, not for anyone else, so it doesn’t matter what anyone else feels about the things for which you are grateful. From a clear and lucid day for your parent to seeing a butterfly to hearing a favorite song on the radio, record anything that gives you a bright moment.
Being a family caregiver can be stressful and challenging, but home care can help. Starting care for your aging parent can be an exceptional way to encourage your loved one to live the highest quality of life possible as they age in place.
These highly personalized services are designed specifically to address your parent’s individual needs and challenges in the ways that are right for them. This can help them to stay happy, healthy, comfortable, and safe, while also supporting independence, activity, and fulfillment throughout their later years. As a family caregiver this can give you confidence that whether you are able to be with your parent or not, your senior is getting everything that they need. This can ease your stress and allow you to take a step back and focus more energy and attention on the other obligations and needs such as your children, your marriage, your career, and yourself.