Dallas Home Health Care Blog

Three Ways to Help an In-Home Caregiver

Friday, April 24, 2015

Being an in-home caregiver for the elderly is one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. This is because aiding the elderly or people who are chronically ill puts so many demands on a person, both physically and mentally. Caring for the elderly can compromise the immune system. It can aggravate existing medical issues, like back pain or carpal tunnel. It can also tax our mental health.

There are ways that you can help an in-home caregiver, whether the person is a licensed aide or another family member. Giving a caregiver a helping hand, giving them time for themselves, or just asking what you can do to help can go a long way toward lowering their stress level and increasing their peace of mind.

1. Prevent Stress – In-home caregivers are so good at caring for other people that they often forget to care for themselves. A majority of them fail to keep their own medical appointments because they put their patients’ needs before their own. Making sure the caregiver follows a proper diet, gets enough sleep, and gets some free time can help prevent stress.

2. Meditation – If you are an in-home caregiver, then take a few moments to meditate. This could mean waking up fifteen minutes early and enjoying a cup of coffee on your back porch while the rest of your family sleeps. It will give you time to reflect on the previous days, and help you be more compassionate in the days ahead.

3. Exercise – Physical activity is not only good for the elderly, but also for in-home caregivers. After all, they need to stay in shape to keep up with the physical demands of their responsibilities. A short walk to check the mailbox with their patient can provide a much-needed dose of Vitamin D, and activities like chair yoga can be done even by wheelchair-bound patients.

If you are a family member who provides in-home care to an elderly parent or grandparent, for example, then you know all too well the stress that goes along with these responsibilities. Caregivers go through cycles of stress and guilt. They feel stressed, which leads to feelings of guilt over feeling stressed. The feelings of guilt pile on more stress.

Fortunately there is an end in sight. If this sounds like your situation, consider getting help from a professional in-home caregiver. This person has the training and knowledge to give you a much-needed break to the emotional drain that stress and guilt create.

Even though caregivers are heroes, at the end of the day they are still human and have the same needs as everyone else. Taking steps to reduce stress is not selfish, but will provide benefits to both the caregiver as well as the person in their care.