If you are a caregiver for a family member or other loved one, you’ve probably heard more than once, “You need to take care of yourself.” This is certainly something that is easier said than done especially if you are a primary caregiver. Most family caregivers did not prepare to take on this role, it’s not something they planned for or just decided one day to do because they have always wanted to see what it was like. No, most caregivers usually fall into this role, quite literally, because there is no one else that is able or willing to do it. Does this create stress? Absolutely!
Caregiver stress can be caused by anything that requires an adjustment to any change in your environment. Your body reacts to these changes with physical, mental and emotional responses and we all have our own ways of coping with change, so the causes of stress can be different for each person.
One of the many ways a caregiver can do to take care of themselves is through education. Learning as much as possible about the illness or disease of the person for whom they provide care will help ease the anxiety and helpless feelings often related to their care.To learn about more stress busting ideas to keep your stress from costing you more than money go to mmlearn.org and watch a presentation on Caregiver Stress by Andrea Wirt, RN, a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. Don't let caregiver stress cost you more than it should.