Caregiver Stress & Burnout blog series – Part 4

All Care will be publishing a Caregiver Stress Blog series which will cover the definition of caregiver stress, sign & symptoms, tips to control caregiver stress, as well as explore resources to help manage and avoid caregiver stress. Part IV: All Care Resources-An Alternative to Caregiver Burnout Did you know that 9 out of 10 seniors wish to die at home but in actuality about 7 in 10 seniors die in a hospital or skilled nursing facility? And did you know that more seniors enter skilled nursing homes due to caregiver burnout than exacerbations of their own conditions? Those are some scary things to think about. With over 50 million Americans currently acting in a nonpaid caregiver role and the elderly population growing larger and living longer, the complications of caregiving are growing at an equal rate. Emotional and physical symptoms of caregiver stress can be identified and there are strategies one can incorporate into their daily life to help manage or control caregiver stress. But what if 30 minutes of alone time a day isn't enough? What if you have a business trip that would take you out of state for three days? What happens when you exhaust your annual FMLA benefit? Where do you go then? What happens from there? The answer, most likely, can be found at the other end of a phone call to All Care Resources. All Care Resources has a long history of offering solutions to common and complication home care concerns. With services ranging from housekeeping, companionship, and accompaniment to personal care, medication management, and live-in services, All Care has provided a...

Caregiver Stress & Burnout blog series – Part 3

All Care will be publishing a Caregiver Stress Blog series which will cover the definition of caregiver stress, sign & symptoms, tips to control caregiver stress, as well as explore resources to help manage and avoid caregiver stress. Part III: How to Avoid Caregiver Stress Caregiver stress is different for everyone so it stands to reason that tools and strategies to manage and avoid caregiver stress vary from caregiver to caregiver. When a caregiver lacks the support they need, caregiver stress and burnout are sure to overcome. Here are some basic family caregiver statistics to keep in mind: 80% of all homecare is provided by family caregivers 75% of caregivers report not getting enough help from other family members 61% of 'intense' family caregivers (caregivers who provide more than 21 hours of care a week) have suffered from depression More elderly patients enter skilled nursing facilities due to caregiver burnout than an exacerbation of their own conditionTaking on all of the responsibilities of caregiving without a break or the proper support will lead to caregiver burnout which can dangerously compromise the care you are providing. You may 'snap' or overreact to nuisances or you might find it so hard to focus that you begin to mismanage medications. You can't try to do it all by yourself, you need to ask for and accept help whether it's from a family member, an online support group, or a homecare agency like All Care.Here are some tips for getting the help you need to manager your caregiver stress and avoid burnout: Speak up, no one can or will read your mind so...

Caregiver Stress & Burnout blog series – Part 2

All Care will be publishing a Caregiver Stress Blog series which will cover the definition of caregiver stress, sign & symptoms, tips to control caregiver stress, as well as explore resources to help manage and avoid caregiver stress.   Part II: Signs & Symptoms of Caregiver Stress As a caregiver it's easy to forget about or put aside your own needs for your loved one. As difficult as it may seem, you have to put your needs first in order to provide the best care possible for your loved one and truth be told, they will be better for it! When you forego your own physical and emotional needs you're likely to be afflicted with caregiver stress which can lead to caregiver burnout which can lead to no good! There are both physical and emotion signs of caregiver stress that manifest themselves differently in each individual. Some symptoms of caregiver stress include: Feeling overwhelmed Loss of energy or feel tired most of the time Weight fluctuation Missing your own doctor's appointments, ignoring own health problems Losing interest in social activities or other hobbies Depression Anxiety Moodiness Loss of patience, irritability Using unhealthy coping mechanisms like excessive drinking or smoking Muscle tension in neck, shoulders, and back Now, those all might seem like predicable side effects of increased stress levels but did you know caregiver stress can manifest in some other unusual symptoms like hair loss, increased perspiration, road rage, skin disease, periodontal disease, reproductive issues, or lack of libido? Those are symptoms anyone would hope to avoid! If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, even just two or...

Caregiving Challenges-Surviving the Winter

Caregiving has its challenges to begin with, add foul weather and freezing temperatures and other challenges are sure to present themselves! Here are some common challenges caregivers face during the winter months and some suggestions on how to improve the situation.   Challenge: Protecting and moisturizing your loved one's skin during the winter Solution: While many enjoy a hot bath or shower during the colder weather this can dry out skin. Some seniors can suffer from what doctors call 'winter itch' resulting in excessive itching of dry skin causing a rash-like skin breakdown which may require antibiotic cream. Since a lot of elderly have chemical sensitivities, avoid o=using baby oil or other lotions containing artificial ingredients and fragrances, opt instead for an organic coconut oil or all natural lotion with no harmful ingredients to make sure you don't worsen the condition.   Challenge: Getting a loved one to bathe when it's colder outside Solution: Bath time can be a struggle any day of the year, add cold bathroom tiles and you've got a full on battle on your hands! Try to cover tile and other cold surfaces with plush bathmats (always making sure they don't cause a fall risk), turn the heat up in the bathroom before bath time, or consider a space heater or radiant heating panels. These can come equipped with motion sensors, automatic safety shut-offs, and automated timers for safety purposes.   Challenge: You and your loved one argue over the thermostat Solution: Not unlike the issue with bathing, temperature can be a tough issue to tackle when caring for a senior. As people age, typically...

Caregiver Stress & Burnout blog series – Part 1

All Care will be publishing a Caregiver Stress Blog series which will cover the definition of caregiver stress, sign & symptoms, tips to control caregiver stress, as well as explore resources to help manage and avoid caregiver stress     Part I: What is Caregiver Stress?   Providing care for a loved one can be extremely rewarding and research suggests there are many benefits to long term caregiving including a greater level of intimacy, increased patience, as well as a feeling of gratitude for being able to care for a loved one. But with rewards comes challenges, including caregiver stress which can easily lead to caregiver burnout. If you haven't yet found yourself in the role of caregiver, chances are you will at some point in your life. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, more than 52 million people provide unpaid care to a relative, friend, or neighbor, which means more than 21% of American households are impacted by the responsibilities of caregiving.   Stress from caregiving is common, putting many at risk for the health effect of caregiver stress including but not limited to depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, as well as a host of other ailments due to a compromise immune system. While it does feel good to care for a loved one, sometimes this results in little time for one's social and/or professional life.   You must always remember that in order to provide quality care to a loved one you must first take quality care of yourself.   Caregiver stress can happen to anyone; however, since 3 out of 5 family...