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Caregiver Training Blog

Keep Calm and Caregive - Dealing with Caregiver Stress

keep calm and caregiveYou see it everywhere “Keep Calm and Carry On” and like most modern day phenomenon, this simple statement  has found its’ way to becoming world famous, having been mentioned in news articles, television as well as trivialized on t-shirts and coffee mugs among numerous other items.

While this may appear to be a relatively new slogan, it was actually the third in a series of World War II slogans on posters drawn up by the UK Ministry of Information in order to boost the morale of the British people by passing on a message from King George VI.  The posters were on a red background with a stark white text and with the only image on the poster being the royal crown of George VI.

This simple catchphrase was intended to enhance morale and can certainly be used in the same way to boost the spirit of caregivers.  Being able to keep calm in a stressful caregiving situation can often place strains on even the most resilient caregiver.  So much about keeping your calm is also about being properly trained and prepared.   Dealing with someone who exhibits difficult behaviors for example can certainly create anxiety.  While no one can control another person’s behavior, you can control your own response to it and an important goal when dealing with any type of difficult behavior is to remain calm and balanced.  Here are some tips to keep in mind from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services:

  • Be patient with yourself.  Remember that you are doing the best that you can do in a difficult situation; blaming yourself won’t help solve the problem.
  • Focus on the behaviors that are difficult, not the person.
  • Remember you have options, such as asking for politeness or leaving the area/room – even for a few minutes to catch your breath and evaluate the situation
  • Practice a gentle assertiveness on your own behalf.  Standing up for yourself avoids a buildup of resentment, hurt, or angry feelings.

With his very down to earth style and often witty stories, Dr. Thomas Weiss is one of the most talked about presenters on mmLearn.org.   His latest video on mmLearn.org, Caring for the Hateful Patient provides some helpful information whether you are a professional caregiver or caring for a loved one exhibiting some difficult behaviors, this presentation will help you to keep calm and caregive.