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How to Manage Anxiety Related to Caregiving

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Family caregivers sometimes experience negative emotions such as anxiety when carrying out their important responsibilities. Anxiety can get in the way of being able to think clearly about how to care for your aging loved one. When you feel anxious, use these tips to ease your worries and cultivate a calmer mindset.

Learn to Recognize Anxiety Symptoms Early

Anxiety has a unique way of spiraling out of control. At first, you may simply be worried about something normal such as your loved one’s upcoming health tests. Then, you may notice you start to worry about other things such as whether or not you locked up the house before leaving. Eventually, chronic anxiety builds upon itself, and these worries could begin to take over your mind. You may even experience physical anxiety symptoms such as shaking, nausea, and headaches. Learn to notice those first anxious thoughts so you can take preventative action to stop them from getting worse. 

Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you are caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Birmingham families who want to avoid burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.

Identify Your True Worries

General anxiety often has no clear reason, but writing down a list of your worries may help you see what triggers your symptoms. Grab a journal, and make it a point to jot down your anxieties as they come. As you do, try not to reflect upon them too much. Once you have a list of several worries, look through them to see if there is a common theme such as feeling short on time. Understanding where your anxiety stems from is the first step toward finding a solution. 

Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Birmingham home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Find Solutions for What You Can Fix

With your list of worries in hand, begin to go through each one to find ways to fix the ones you can. For instance, you can join a support group if you worry about not being emotionally capable of handling your loved one’s illness. Alternatively, you may need to have another caregiver drop by to handle issues that stress you out, such as constantly being fearful of your loved one wandering.

Take Care of Your Overall Health

Once you’ve fixed the worries you can, it’s time to work on building your physical health so you can reduce the symptoms of anxiety that are left. Certain foods and drinks make anxiety worse, and you may also need to abstain from caffeine. You should also exercise each day to reduce the levels of stress hormones in your body.

Know When to Take a Break

Caregivers often learn that anxiety is one of the body’s warning signs that they are doing too much. If you notice your anxiety increases along with your workload, it’s time to temporarily step away. Try to treat your caregiving role as you would any other job. From taking an hour-long lunch break alone to allotting time off to handle your other chores, arranging for assistance with your duties gives you more control over your day that may reduce your worries.

When researching agencies that provide home care, Birmingham, AL, families are usually looking for flexible care plans, compassionate and highly trained caregivers, and 24/7 availability. Whether your family needs respite care to take a break from your caregiving duties or your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, you can rely on Home Care Assistance. Call us at (205) 438-6925 to create a customized in-home care plan.