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5 Stress Relief Tips for Male Caregivers
Caregiving is rewarding but stressful
Caregiving can have many rewards. The best thing you want for your spouse or loved one is to have the best care so who better than you to provide it?
However, it is natural to sometimes feel angry, frustrated, exhausted, alone, or even depressed. Caregiver stress — the emotional and physical stress of caregiving — is common.
People who experience caregiver stress can be vulnerable to changes in their own mental and physical health that may lead to caregiver burnout. Sings for caregiver burnout include:
- Anxiety, depression, irritability.
- Feeling tired and run down.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Overreacting to minor nuisances, irritable or argumentative with the person you’re caring for and/or with others
- Headaches, stomachaches, and new or worsening health problems
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Changes in eating habits; weight loss or gain
- A feeling of hopelessness
- Withdrawing from, or losing interest in, activities you once enjoyed
- Neglecting your own physical and emotional needs
- Feeling like your life is controlled by caregiving
Did you know June is Men’s Health Month? When people think about caregivers, they often tend to think of women caring for their spouse, parents, loved ones, etc. Yet, men account for almost 40% of the caregiver population. In order for male caregivers to properly care for their loved ones, they must remember to also care for themselves as well. Here are five stress relief tips for male caregivers to stay healthy and active:
- Participate in support groups.
There are a ton of local support groups out there to help you that are both virtual and in-person. We are happy to guide you in the right direction for the types of support groups you need. Call us today at 407-796-1582 to learn more.
- Ask for help!
Needing help does not make you a bad caregiver. Taking breaks is critical so you do not head down the path of caregiver burnout. See if you can divvy up caregiving responsibilities among family members or friends. If not, there are many care options available to be there for your loved one for a few hours such as home care, adult daycare, respite stay, or even exploring senior living communities. Mental health is just as important as physical health. We can provide names of a few companies that help with all of these care
- Take care of yourself!
Whether this is through mediation, yoga, getting up 15 min to use the time just for yourself, or simply taking a brisk walk every single day. If you can bring your loved one with you, even better. Maintaining a healthy diet is also just as important. If you are unable to cook, see if a nearby friend or family member can prepare a few extra meals. Ordering out a few times is not too bad as long as it’s not every day.
- Make time for hobbies.
Whether you like to play a round or two of golf, visit an antique car show, see a movie, or simply meet up with friends for dinner, it’s important to make time for yourself. If you are not big on hobbies or are not sure where to begin, a local senior center is a great place to start! One Senior Place in Altamonte Springs has a plethora of activities for seniors both educational and fun!
- Prepare all necessary documents, i.e.: insurance policies, wills, loans, and funeral arrangements.
My dad always said if you fail to plan, plan to fail. This is something that less talked about but it’s vital to take care of documents ahead of time. If you need assistance with wills, estate planning, etc. on top of the above, we can gladly provide the name of a few elder law attorneys.
What are my options if I am no longer able to care for my loved one at home?
Some of these stress relief tips for male caregivers are great but there may come a point where you are not physically or even mentally able to care for a loved one. Your health is just as important, especially if you are caring for someone other than yourself. If you think your loved one needs more help beyond what you are able to provide, the first best step is to talk with them about their choices and how this can impact their well-being. That’s not always an easy conversation to have but when it comes to quality of life, safety always comes first.
If your loved one has a Dementia diagnosis, explaining the situation may not be the best but we are here to provide resources and guide you on resources available as well as what to do next. Call 407-796-1582 to speak with a senior advisor.
Here are a few services that can help care for your loved one:
Home Care Services
Paying for yard work, home repairs or housekeeping can relieve some of the physical burdens and hassles of homeownership. If a parent needs help with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, grooming, etc., it’s possible to hire in-home aides through private duty home care, although this can get pricey over time. The average cost is $18-$23/hour so if it is only a few hours a week, it is not as bad, but 24/7 oversight will really add up.
Consider Senior Living Options
Assisted living communities offer maintenance-free living, nutritious dining options, interesting activities and programs, companionship, and security. They also offer the level of daily assistance that’s needed, along with other health services. The average cost of Assisted Living is about $3500 in the state for FL and while that may seem high, it can be a lot more cost-effective than paying for 24/7 home care. Memory care communities are the same as an assisted living but a secured environment geared for those with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. They typically start higher ($4500+) due to more care staff needed and they not only provide daily care but also engaging programs to keep your loved one stimulated and physically active for as long as they can.
A Senior Advisor can guide you to communities based on your budget, location, amenities, and much more.
You are not alone
If you’re like many caregivers, you may a hard time asking for help. Unfortunately, this attitude can lead to not only caregiver burnout but possible depression, a decline in physical and mental health as well as no longer being able to care for your loved one.
Rather than struggling on your own, take advantage of local resources for caregivers. Call North Star Senior Advisor today to get started. You may also visit our website at www.northstarsa.com to fill out a form and have a senior advisor contact you at your convenience.