The holiday season often is packed with joyous activity. But for a family caregiver who already has a packed schedule of their own, it can be difficult to slow down and enjoy the season.
The Kensington White Plains hosted a caregiver workshop, where expert tips and advice from Kensington Support Coach Susie Sarkisian and our panel of family caregivers were shared.
Our caregiver workshop provided the support you need to lighten your holiday load and take care of yourself, so you can show up as your best self during the holidays.
Read on to hear more about the event, plus our tips for how to balance caregiving and self-care and recognizing when you’re experiencing symptoms of caregiver burnout.
How to balance the role of caregiving and self-care
Self-care for caregivers simply means you are addressing your basic needs and making time for the things you enjoy.
Caregivers often make their loved one their No. 1 priority, and in doing so they begin to neglect their own needs for adequate rest, nourishing meals, and physical and social activity.
At first, neglecting your needs may seem easier because you are able to focus more on your loved one. But over time, you may begin to feel more tired, quick to irritation, or frequently stressed and anxious.
These are all signs that your body needs attention and basic self-care.
During our caregiver workshop, Susie Sarkisian shared practical advice and techniques for ways to bring self-care back into your life.
Ways to incorporate methods of stress relief and self-care into your busy routine
As a caregiver, you may understand that you need to take some time for yourself, but you may not know how.
Or, you may have neglected your needs for so long that you forget what it is you enjoy.
Susie Sarkisian and our family caregiver panel will help you look inward to recognize what passions and hobbies you may have given up when you began caring for your loved one.
This advice applies to the families of our residents as well. It’s important to create time for yourself, so you can feel recharged, full of purpose, and ready for whatever the day brings.
Take a look at the following stress relief and self-care examples to inspire you as you consider the things you enjoy:
- Take a daily walk
- Practice yoga, meditation, or prayer
- Make sleep a priority
- Prepare healthy meals for the week
- Listen to music
- Meet with a friend
- Join a support group
- Ask for help
Asking for help can be difficult when you have been handling things on your own for a while.
Let’s take a look at how you can gather the courage to ask for support from family and friends.
When to ask for help caregiving—and not be afraid to do so
Remember that asking for help does not mean you have failed as a caregiver, or that you can’t handle things on your own.
Instead, asking for help is the most loving thing you can do, both for your loved one and for yourself. We can’t provide the best care to our loved ones if we are struggling.
The first step to asking for help from friends and family is to understand and accept your limits. Write out the tasks you are comfortable handling and the tasks that can be performed by another family member.
Examples of tasks you can offer to other family members and friends include:
- Picking up medications
- Shopping for groceries
- Preparing meals
- Scheduling a weekly visit
Family is a top priority at The Kensington White Plains. You may be surprised to see how receptive your family is to become more involved in your loved one’s life once you make the effort to include them.
When caregiving becomes too much: The signs and symptoms of burnout
One of the most important things to understand as a caregiver is your own personal limitations.
Becoming more in tune with how you are feeling can help you see the signs and symptoms that you are at risk of caregiver burnout.
Signs of caregiver burnout include:
- Sleep issues
- Digestive issues
- Physical pain
- Low immunity
If you often feel fatigued and irritable, it’s time to implement your basic self-care and stress relief techniques.
How The Kensington White Plains devotes care to benefit both seniors and their family caregivers
Our team understands how important it is to many families to stay close to their senior loved ones who need care.
We offer a level of care that exceeds what traditional assisted living communities can provide, including a full spectrum of clinical support and the preservation of your loved one’s cherished routines.
We also offer our loving support and resources to family caregivers who haven’t yet made the decision to move their loved ones to a community.
These resources include:
- Caregiver Connect and other caregiver events
- Kensington Konnect, a hub of informative, entertaining, and fun resources
- Blog filled with educational resources and caregiver support
No matter where you are in your caregiving journey, The Kensington White Plains is dedicated to supporting all those who are caring for a loved one.
The Kensington White Plains, your partner in caregiving
The Kensington Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.
This Promise includes you, as a family member and caregiver!
We are devoted to being a resource to you and your family, through our educational workshops, events, and partnerships with leading health experts.
Please reach out to our team if you’d like more information on the event, or to learn more about our assisted living or memory care services.