The Kensington White Plains Summer Caregiver Support Book Club Series with Dr. James Rouse
The role of a caregiver is both immensely rewarding and stressful. Even the most laid-back and resilient people can face frustration, sadness, and anxiety when caring for a loved one, which upholds the importance of caregiver support.
This essential role can take a toll on caregivers as time passes, if they’re not taking time to also care for themselves. But how do you find the time or energy? The Kensington White Plains is partnering with Dr. James Rouse this summer to discuss excerpts from featured books on topics that will uplift and inspire caregivers.
Learn more about the book club, caregiver support, and tips to avoid burnout.
A summer book club to support and uplift caregivers
Dr. James Rouse, a naturopathic physician, internationally renowned teacher, and motivational speaker, seeks to provide people with the necessary tools to make healthy, positive changes in their lives. In his summer partnership with The Kensington, he has curated excerpts from books that he uses to lead inspiring discussions on topics such as personal growth, self love, and self acceptance.
This virtual book club takes place on the first Wednesday of every month, through August. Caregivers are invited to join in on these discussions and use the tools to improve your own health and quality of life.
Avoid caregiver burnout with self care
Have you ever experienced caregiver burnout?
Burnout is a state of exhaustion that can occur when a caregiver is trying to do more than they are able to do physically. These demands can weigh heavily on the mind and body and lead to feelings of fatigue and hopelessness.
Symptoms of caregiver burnout include:
- Withdrawing from loved ones
- Losing interest in favorite activities and hobbies
- Feeling irritable and helpless
- Changes in sleep and appetite
- Getting sick more often
- Feeling anxious and depressed
Caregivers experiencing burnout need help, because their physical and mental exhaustion will affect not only themselves but the person they are trying to care for.
To effectively heal from burnout, we must incorporate self-care methods, make time for ourselves, and ask for help.
What does self love and self care look like?
Self love and self care come from simply listening to yourself and acknowledging your needs, then taking steps toward fulfilling those needs. This will look different to everyone depending on our own unique needs and wants.
Self-care practice can look like:
- Preparing food for yourself
- Finding moments of peace and quiet
- Talking to a friend
This can sometimes feel impossible when you’re the sole caregiver for a loved one. But fitting in moments for yourself is essential to your health and wellbeing.
How to make time for yourself
Your loved one’s needs are pressing. How can you possibly step away to prepare a meal or take a walk? Making time for yourself may require you to ask for help. There’s no shame in asking for support as a caregiver. Remember, this is as much about your loved one’s best interests as it is yours.
Talk to a trusted friend or family member to discuss your frustrations and feelings. Set goals for yourself to discover resources and support, including from family, friends, or in-home health aides. It’s important to be able to understand and acknowledge your limits as a caregiver. No one person can do it all.
Self-acceptance and support for caregivers
As a caregiver, it can be difficult to not feel guilty, or to feel like you’re never doing enough for your loved one. But operating from a place of guilt is not healthy or productive.
You must understand and accept that you’re doing the best you can with what you have, and appreciate the magnitude of your efforts. Focus on what you are doing, rather than what you are unable to do.
Here are some ways to lessen the stress of caregiving:
- Accept help from others
- Learn ways to better help your loved one
- Join a caregiver support group
- Choose healthy foods and get enough rest
- Visit your doctor — and make sure to tell them you are a caregiver
- Write in a journal
If caregiving becomes too much and you don’t have the resources or support necessary to keep your loved one at home, it might be time to consider what an assisted living community can do for your loved one.
When is it time to move to an assisted living community?
When you’re in the depths of caregiving, it can be difficult to see beyond your situation. But the right assisted living community can easily offer the necessary expertise and capabilities beyond what in-home care can provide.
The Kensington White Plains is a loving community that offers expert care for varying needs, including:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Memory loss
- Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Injury care or other illnesses
The Kensington White Plains has on-site rehabilitation for residents, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Our specialized memory care includes two neighborhoods designed for the appropriate level of care needed.
In this type of setting with multiple levels of care, your loved one can truly “age in place” in a community where their needs can always be met, regardless of the severity of symptoms.
We promise to love and care for your family, as we do our own.
Additional Recommended Reading:
- Brain it On! A Virtual Summit with The Kensington White Plains, HFC, and WAM
- Mindfulness, Alzheimer’s and Brilliance with Dr. James Rouse