Caring for a loved one is one of the most selfless things a person can do. When things get difficult or feel overwhelming, it’s important to reach out to people and resources that can help.
At CareLink, our mission is to support older people in the central Arkansas area. However, it is just as valuable to support the caregivers in our community who dedicate their lives, time, energy, and hearts into helping a loved one.
Since April is National Stress Awareness Month, we’ve put together a guide with tips on how to reduce stress. The more caregivers can be physically and emotionally cared for, the safer, healthier, and happier our older adult population can be.
Ask for Assistance
Taking care of a loved one can be difficult. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance, whether from family members or organizations like CareLink.
CareLink exists to meet the needs of homebound older people, active older people, and family caregivers in central Arkansas. One way we do this is by providing information and resources for family caregivers, who need to navigate the maze of services available for their loved one.
If you need help working through some of the more difficult legal paperwork and healthcare documentations, we have resources available to you. Even for the day-to-day tasks that can fill up your schedule, there may be a service that’s right for you. From sending meals via the Meals on Wheels program to offering a fun community space for active older adults to stay fit and healthy, CareLink can take some of the load off of your shoulders.
Have you considered counseling for caregivers? Support groups and therapists can provide a safe place to discuss what’s causing you stress or anxiety, and you may be able to connect with others who are experiencing similar situations to your own who can relate to what you’re feeling.
CareLink also provides one-on-one counseling for caregivers to help prevent you from becoming overwhelmed or depressed.
Most importantly, we never want caregivers to feel alone. In fact, the Family Caregiver Alliance estimates that nearly 20 percent of family caregivers suffer from some form of depression. Taking advantage of emotional support resources can help you balance your own mental health needs with the needs of your loved one.
Use Emergency Response Technology
Emergency response technology can give you and your loved one peace of mind and allow you to run errands and take care of other tasks, knowing help is nearby in the event of an emergency.
Especially in instances where a loved one has a serious medical issue, such as a heart condition or diabetes, an emergency alert system is essential.
Benefits of an Emergency Alert System:
Most medical alert systems have 24-hour monitoring capabilities and the ability to set reminders for taking medication, testing blood sugar or blood pressure, etc. If an emergency occurs or a dosage was missed, you’ll be notified immediately.
Emergency alert systems, particularly those worn around the neck or on the wrist, can save lives. In the event of an accident, fall, or other medical emergency, first responders are alerted and family members are notified.
Medical alert systems have come a long way since their initial creation. These systems are built with added security in the event of emergencies. From backup batteries to lifetime warranties, these machines are built to keep you safe and secure, no matter the situation.
Peace of Mind
Emergency alert systems protect your loved ones and give you peace of mind. You and your family will feel better about your loved one’s safety when you use a medical alert system, so you can be assured your loved one is in good hands day and night.
Take Advantage of Meals on Wheels
Many organizations, like CareLink’s Meals on Wheels, provide hot or frozen meals for those who cannot shop or prepare their own. You and your loved one may consider taking advantage of a program like Meals on Wheels to reduce the amount of shopping and meal prep you’ll need to do.
MEALS ON WHEELS MAKES A DIFFERENCE FOR NEARLY 2.4 MILLION SENIORS
Since its first delivery to Philadelphia citizens in 1954, Meals on Wheels has been guided by a single goal – to support our senior neighbors to extend their independence and health as they age.
What started as a compassionate idea has grown into one of the largest and most effective social movements in America, currently helping nearly 2.4 million seniors annually in virtually every community in the country.
Take Time for Yourself
As a caregiver, so much of your time is invested in the act of taking care of others. Do you make time to take care of yourself, as well?
It’s often said that in order to take care of others, you must also take care of yourself. Consider the idea of putting your own oxygen mask on before putting on someone else’s on an airplane. If you’re not healthy and taken care of, it’s going to be harder for you to take care of your loved one.
- While your loved one is resting, relax with a good book or watch some television.
- Make yourself a special lunch or snack on days when you need a pick-me-up.
- Take time throughout the day to remember that your own emotional and physical health is important, too.
Are you a caregiver in need of CareLink’s resources? Learn more about our counseling programs, in-home respite care, and more. Call CareLink’s Information & Assistance staff at 501-372-5300, toll free at 800-482-6359 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with a CareLink professional. Our trained Care Coordinators are here to help find the answers you need—even if you don’t know what questions to ask.