Six Steps to Reduce Holiday Stress for Caregivers
The holiday season often brings both joy and stress; planning and preparing for holiday celebrations, buying gifts and taking care of other last-minute details can all increase our stress levels. For people caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, who are already balancing the demands of caregiving with their own personal responsibilities and needs, this added stress can be overwhelming, which is why the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is offering six tips to help caregivers reduce holiday stress.
“The holiday season is a joyful time, but it also brings additional demands and stresses as families get ready to celebrate. Those challenges are often compounded for families caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. “Managing stress is critical for any caregiver and following a few steps can make a big difference during the holidays and throughout the year.”
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America offers the following tips to manage caregiver stress:
· Ask for help. Support is vital. Family, friends, community and professional caregivers can all lend a helping hand in different ways, but only if you ask. Don’t be hesitant to ask someone to assist with errands, help with transportation to medical appointments or spend time with the person you are caring for, so that you have a break.
· Make time for yourself. Prioritizing the well-being of the person you are caring for while sacrificing your own is noble but can take a toll. Not taking care of yourself increases risk of caregiver burnout, which compromises your ability to provide quality care and negatively impacts both you and the person for whom you are caring.
· Get moving–exercise can help reduce stress. Exercise is one of the best known techniques for reducing stress, revitalizing energy, and maintaining your health. A brisk walk several times each week gives you significant health benefits, while yoga can help clear your mind.
· Eat a balanced, healthful diet full of fruits, vegetables, and water. Proper diet plays a role in keeping you healthy, as does eliminating smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.
· Sleep is important–a good night’s rest keeps us functioning at our best. Getting a good night’s sleep helps revitalize and recharge your mind and body.
· Take it one day at a time. If it’s not an emergency situation, do not turn it into one. Don’t try to juggle too much at once. Try to prioritize and set realistic goals. Focus on one thing at a time.
To learn more helpful caregiving tips and resources available to help people affected by Alzheimer’s disease, visit www.alzfdn.org or call AFA’s Helpline at 866-232-8484, seven days a week.
About Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA):
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide support, services and education to individuals, families and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias nationwide, and fund research for better treatment and a cure. Its services include a National Toll-Free Helpline (866-232-8484) staffed by licensed social workers, the National Memory Screening Program, educational conferences and materials, and “AFA Partners in Care” dementia care training for healthcare professionals. For more information about AFA, call 866-232-8484, visit www.alzfdn.org, follow us on Twitter, or connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn. AFA has earned Charity Navigator’s top 4-star rating for five consecutive years.