How to Set Yourself Free from Caregiver Guilt

Caregivers can let go of caregiver guilt with these tips.

Family care providers give a great deal of themselves to take care of their senior loved ones, often sacrificing their own individual needs and desires during the process. It seems normal to assume then that caregivers would feel good about themselves, with high self-esteem and sense of purpose.

However, the exact opposite is usually true, with many family caregivers dealing with feelings of caregiver guilt, wishing they had more patience, a remedy for all of their loved ones’ dilemmas, or the power to do everything by themselves without the need for help. They may have set unattainable and unrealistic guidelines, that could result in:

  • Bitterness
  • Feeling trapped
  • Never feeling good enough
  • Wanting to get away
  • Loss of pleasure in life
  • Elevated stress
  • Missing out on high quality time with loved ones
  • And more

If you are dealing with feelings of family caregiver guilt, taking these steps can be extremely freeing:

  1. Admit your feelings of guilt and also the particular cause of it; as an example, “I feel guilty because I became impatient with Dad’s repetitive questions.”
  2. Maintain a realistic perspective, understanding that all family caregivers are encountering challenges. We are all human.
  3. Switch your internal “should have” dialogues to a more positive slant: “It is challenging to answer the same questions repeatedly, and I’m doing the best that I can.”
  4. Turn your focus to a positive accomplishment. Remind yourself of the joke you told that made Dad chuckle this morning, or how much he enjoyed the meal you prepared.
  5. Be sure to put aside enough time for comforting, pleasurable and gratifying activities: engaging in favorite hobbies and pastimes, journaling, spending time with friends, family and pets, etc.
  6. Adhere to a healthier lifestyle that includes healthy eating, aiming for 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night, exercising, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.
  7. Find a support partner. To be the best care provider you can be calls for routine, regular breaks from caregiving to take care of yourself.

Contact Responsive Home Care, the top-rated provider of home health care in Plantation and surrounding areas, at 954-486-6440 for dependable respite care which enables family caregivers time to destress and unwind, an essential component to effective elder care. We’re available in accordance with your desired schedule and routine, with as much or as little ongoing support as needed, up through 24/7 care. Keep in mind that taking the best care of yourself allows you to provide the best care for the older adult you love, and we are always here to help!

Tips to Manage Family Caregiver Stress

man relaxing listing to headphones

It can be stressful to serve as a family caregiver, so learning how to manage emotions is important.

Stress is bound to happen, and actually, not always a bad thing. After all, as the saying goes, “A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.” However, especially for family caregivers, the level of stress can rapidly intensify and be frustrating, and when not managed effectively, lead to big health concerns.

Try these suggestions to lower family caregiver stress and obtain a healthier and more relaxed lifestyle – both for yourself and those you love:

  • Alter your self-talk. Through the course of your day, you will probably find yourself entertaining thoughts such as, “I cannot accomplish this!” or “Everything is going wrong!” Stop when negative thinking starts to intrude, and say to yourself instead, “I’m able to take care of this, one step at a time,” or “Help is available whenever I require it.”
  • Take a break. Deescalate stress through any or all of the following strategies:
    • Breathe deeply (breathe in to a count of 4; hold for a count of 4; exhale to a count of 4; hold for a count of 4; repeat as needed)
    • Take a walk or take part in some other regular exercise
    • Pray or meditate
    • Play favorite music
    • Write in a journal
    • Contact a good friend
  • Try a stress-busting activity. There are a variety of pleasing activities that will divert your focus away from what was leading to stress and onto things more positive, such as creating art, reading, enjoying pets or children, doing work in the yard or on a DIY project – the possibilities are endless, and even as little as 10 or 15 minutes invested in the activity will help.

There are even apps especially developed with family caregivers in mind to help minimize stress and restore calm. Find five which can be particularly effective here from DailyCaring.

Caregiver stress is very common for individuals who feel as though they have no support system, and have to handle everything independently. Fortunately, we have an answer! Call Responsive Home Care for an in-home consultation to learn more about how we can share in your caregiving duties, enabling you to gain important time away to destress, with our services that include:

  • Planning and cooking wholesome meals
  • Assistance with personal care and hygiene
  • Taking care of housekeeping chores and laundry
  • Accompaniment to medical appointments and interesting outings
  • Companionship to brighten each day with conversations, games, puzzles, hobbies, etc.
  • Medication reminders
  • And so much more

Call us at 954-486-6440 for home care assistance in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas. Learn how a partner in care can make a world of difference in eliminating stress and restoring a healthy life balance for family care providers.

If You’re a Family Caregiver, You’re at Risk for Caregiver Depression

 caregiver depression - home care broward There’s no question that it’s a great honor to care for family we love. Family caregivers experience a closeness and connection with those in their care that generally far outweigh the difficulties. Yet unfortunately there are also difficulties. A continuous to-do list to make certain the person you’re providing care for is as healthy and happy as possible. Household duties and errands to manage. Career responsibilities. The requirements of other relatives and friends. And don’t leave out self-care.

The end result is an often overwhelming degree of stress, that if left uncontrolled, can quickly transform into caregiver depression  or burnout that could manifest in any or all of the following ways:

  • Thoughts of frustration, unhappiness, hopelessness, stress
  • Trouble with falling or staying asleep during the night
  • Lack of interest in previously-enjoyed activities
  • Eating more or significantly less than normal
  • Delayed thinking
  • And if left untreated, suicidal thoughts or possibly attempts at suicide

This short online assessment makes it possible to decide if you may be experiencing depression.

The good thing is, there are a number of easy steps to take to lessen your potential for falling into depression:

  • First and foremost, schedule an appointment with your physician for help
  • Refrain from isolating yourself and ensure an abundance of opportunities for socialization apart from your caregiving relationship
  • Remain active, both physically and mentally, with activities you like: swimming, playing a sport, reading, volunteering with a cause that is important to you

While it could be challenging for family caregivers to carve out the time required for self-care, it is imperative to the wellbeing of both family caregivers themselves and the seniors in their care. And lots of times, family feel as though they need to do it all themselves – after all, they are familiar with the individual much better than anyone else, and frequently it simply seems much easier to manage things on one’s own.

An overly stressed, burned out, or depressed caregiver needs to have trustworthy, reliable support – and the great news is, it is easily available! A professional, home caregiver can provide as much or as little help as needed. Perhaps, for instance, you’d rather continue to make all of the meals for your senior loved one – but would like some help with cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. Or maybe your loved one would feel much more comfortable with an experienced caregiver providing assistance with personal care needs, for example, bathing and using the restroom.

At Responsive Home Care, leaders in home care Broward and the surrounding areas trust, we understand how overwhelming life can feel for family caregivers, and we work with families to develop a strategy of care that meets each person’s individual desires and needs. Let us assist with trustworthy, professional respite care. Reach out to us at 954-486-6440 any time for additional information about caregiver depression.

The Power of Positive Thinking: How to Overcome Caregiver Stress

Responsive Home Care is the ideal solution to achieve a healthier life balance – both for family caregivers and the older adults in their care.

Our facial expressions reveal so much to people around us, and when you are experiencing an abnormal degree of stress, well-meaning friends will certainly notice it, perhaps encouraging you to essentially, “Cheer up, buttercup!” In reality, of course, it requires a lot more than a few words to turn our mood around and to help us overcome caregiver stress.

Recent research supports the idea of positive thinking as a method to decrease levels of depression and anxiety which occur when we are flooded with stress – something essential for busy family caregivers to take to heart to reduce the possibility for burnout.

Judith Moskowitz, lead psychologist in the research project who subsequently created a course to overcome the unpredictable manner of emotions so frequent in individuals providing care for a senior loved one, says, “We’re not saying don’t be sad or upset about what’s going on. But we know people can experience positive emotions alongside that negative emotion, and that positive emotion can help them cope better.”

The primary techniques in her program include the following:

• Keep a journal of things for which you’re grateful – including the small things.

• Identify at least one uplifting event every single day.

• Talk about this occurrence with your family on social networks.

• Establish one new goal every day, and keep track of your progress in achieving it.

• Identify one of your talents and contemplate how you’re making use of that skill.

• Undertake one daily simple act of kindness for another.

• Think about a negative event, and then discover a way to view it in a positive light.

• Practice focused breathing and mindfulness to bring back a sense of calm.

For those of you providing care for a loved one with dementia, the need to concentrate on positives can be much more vital to overall wellbeing. Family caregivers who participated in a recent five-week study where the effectiveness of these coping skills was evaluated documented a decrease in depression scores of 16%, and a decrease in anxiety of 14%.

In addition to the strategies above, it is necessary for family caregivers to stop isolating themselves and trying to manage their caregiving duties solo, which can very quickly bring on caregiver burnout along with other significant health problems. Partnering with an established Sunrise elderly care, like Responsive Home Care, is the ideal solution to help in achieving a healthier life balance – both for family caregivers and the older adults in their care.

Life is indeed stressful, but we are ready to help! Contact Responsive Home Care, the leader in home health care in Pembroke Pines, and let us help you overcome caregiver stress so that you can concentrate on self-care and good quality time with those you love.

Finding Meaning and Purpose Later in Life

senior care in Hollywood FL

As we age, life changes, but the need for purpose does not. Learn how to help seniors find new meaning for everyday life.

Think of an ordinary day in the life of a senior loved one. Ideally it provides a number of positive and enriching experiences: savoring breakfast, participating in a satisfying activity or interest, visiting with a good friend or member of the family, watching a favorite TV show. Nonetheless, there’s a distinction between positivity and purpose; and the value of a life rich with significance is now more widely known, particularly in the life of aging parents.

Viktor Frankl, world-renowned psychiatrist and survivor of the Holocaust, explains poignantly, “What matters is not the meaning in life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.”

For individuals whose identity has been devoted to a profession and raising a family, and who now are in a season of retirement and fulfilled family responsibilities, it can be hard finding meaning and purpose later in life. At Responsive Home Care, we make it a priority to help seniors determine their interests and channel them into meaningful activities, such as:

  • Volunteering. For a senior who loves kids, tutoring, reading to, or mentoring students at an area school is a great option. Other individuals may care greatly about assisting veterans, and assemble care packages of personal care products and snack food items to send overseas. Or for animal lovers, bringing treats, blankets, and an affectionate heart to a pet shelter could be very fulfilling.
  • Learning. It is true: you are never too old to master something new. Go to a nearby community college, library, or senior center to find classes or online programs that might appeal to your senior loved one.
  • Helping at home. Well-meaning family caregivers often take over household chores to free their senior loved ones from the tasks they’ve taken care of during their lifetime. Unfortunately, this can have the negative effect of leaving older adults feeling as though they are no longer useful. Engage the senior in work and responsibilities throughout the home which are typically within his / her expertise and interest, such as assisting with organizing meals, folding laundry, sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox, etc.
  • Documenting family history. Supplying the next generation with the rich genealogy and family history and stories experienced firsthand is a treasure that only older adults can offer. Help your senior loved one document his / her lifetime legacy in a scrapbook, writing, or video recording, and then share with friends and family.

And, call on Responsive Home Care when it comes to tailored in-home assistance that helps older adults discover satisfaction and purpose, while continuing to be safe and comfortable in the familiarity of home. We’re able to offer transportation to engaging and meaningful activities, help plan and implement ideas to accomplish right in the home, or simply just look after some of the everyday tasks in the residence, including cleaning and cooking, allowing family members to savor high quality time with one another. You can contact us any time at 954-486-6440 to learn more about our elder care in Hollywood, FL and the surrounding areas.

Workers Are Leaving Jobs Due to Imbalance in Employment and Family Caregiving Responsibilities

Shot of a thoughtful businesswoman looking out of an office window

Holding down a job and being responsible for family caregiving can create stress on employees. Find out more here.

Not long ago, actor Rob Lowe brought family caregiving into the foreground by discussing his journey of caring for his mother and the impact it had on his own life. He said, “When you’re caring for a loved one, there’s nothing you won’t do to give them as much comfort and peace of mind as you can possibly provide. Often that means you’ll skip your social obligations, wreck your diet, suffer sleep deprivation, and even risk your career.” Read more

The Importance of Partnering with Professionals for Dementia Care

Shot of a daughter visiting her senior mother in hospital

Learn how partnering with Fort Lauderdale elderly care experts, Responsive Home Care can help you with dementia care for a loved one.

While an incredible number of older adults are struggling with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, an even greater number of family members are trying to cope with caring for them. Incredibly, nearly 75% of family caretakers are managing their senior loved ones’ dementia care needs on their own, with only 26% seeking professional care assistance. Read more

How to Help Dad Overcome His Fear of Doctor Visits

Why don’t we face it: lots of us have a fear of doctor visits. It could be uncomfortable and downright distressing when something is wrong and we are facing the prospect of an undesirable diagnosis. Nonetheless we recognize it makes sense to complete what’s best for our health and to be conscientious about obtaining essential healthcare.

A senior man of African descent is indoors in a hospital room. He is watching his female doctor using a tablet computer. She is explaining a medication schedule to him.

Our senior care services in Pembroke Pines and the surrounding area include helping older adults overcome a fear of doctor visits.

Read more

Top Tips for Supporting Someone With Dementia

Senior women at home.

If you’re supporting someone with dementia and feel like you’re in uncharted territory, use these guidelines from our Sunrise elderly care experts.

At times, the greatest lessons in life come from going through them firsthand; yet the information we can discover from those who’ve traveled a similar course before us is priceless. If you are providing care for a loved one with dementia and beginning to feel a bit bogged down in this uncharted territory, the guidelines below might help: Read more

In Caring for an Aging Parent, Are You Overstepping Boundaries as a Helicopter Child?

helicopter-parents

Learn how to avoid overstepping boundaries when it comes to senior care for parents.

We’ve all encountered helicopter parents, especially when a son or daughter leaves for college. In fact, we could possibly be guilty of hovering a touch too closely ourselves. Learning that appropriate harmony between caring and overstepping our boundaries is not easy. Read more

Ft. Lauderdale Home Care Experts Share 5 Signs of Dementia to Watch During the Holidays

A happy grandmother with her family on Christmas Eve

Learn the warning signs of dementia in this article by the Ft. Lauderdale home care experts.

As soon as the door swings open and your senior loved one wraps you in a warm hug, through the joyous holiday dinner and each timeless family custom, possibilities abound for not simply high quality time together, but also to assess how your parent is truly doing and if any red flags are detected. Read more

Questions to Ask Before Your Parent Leaves the Emergency Room

Home Care Tips For Florida Families

Senior Care Tamarac FLFor many senior adults, visits to the emergency room are more frequent as they get older. Changes in their physical and cognitive functioning, increased fall risk, higher instance of physical health concerns, and lower immune systems can all contribute to older adults visiting the emergency room more frequently than they might have when they were younger.

This frequency, however, does not make these situations any less serious. Whether your senior loved one visits the emergency room less than once a year or several times a year, as their family caregiver it is essential that you are there for them to help ensure that they get the most benefit out of the care that they receive, and that they continue to receive this benefit even after they are discharged.

One of the most important elements of this is asking the right questions before your parent leaves the emergency room. By asking these questions you can get the information that you need to structure your care approach and keep your parent on the right track toward recovery and management of their health and well-being.

Some questions that you should ask before your senior parent leaves the emergency room include:

• What is their diagnosis?

• What types of treatments did they receive while they were in the emergency room?

• What is the prognosis for this particular issue?

• What types of prescriptions did they receive?

• What are the instructions for these prescriptions?

• What are the potential side effects for these prescriptions and how can they handle them effectively?

• What type of care will they need after returning home?

• What changes do they need to make to their lifestyle because of this issue?

• What should you look for to determine if they need to return to the emergency room?

• When and with whom should they follow up after discharge?

Considering bringing a notebook with you and taking notes about the answers to these questions. This will allow you to reference these notes later if you have any questions or unsure of what needs to be done.

If your senior loved one has recently spent time in the emergency room, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting senior home care for them. Regardless of the issue that brought them to the hospital, the time after they return home can be integral in protecting the future of their health and well-being. This is the time when hospital readmission becomes an issue and your loved one will also need to focus on recovering from the illness, injury, or other concern that had them seeking emergency medical attention.

The highly personalized services of an in-home senior care provider can ensure that they get the care, support, assistance, and other services that they need to manage their individual needs and challenges, prevent readmission, and maintain the quality of life and lifestyle that is right for them.

If your parent is at risk of needing additional care or the medical team has given you specific instructions as to what to look for in ensuring that they are recovering properly, this care provider can be especially beneficial. Being with your parent ensures that they are able to detect changes or issues that might be concerning so that they can alert you and your parent can get the continued care that they need.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Hollywood, FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Contact us today 954-486-6440.