Make Quick Stress Relief Part of Your Daily Life as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Overview

Published: 02/12/2012

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The stresses of a caregiver’s daily life can become overwhelming and lead to caregiving crisis without proper planning, resources, networking and utilizing stress management tools available here at the Senior Care Society. One of the key elements in functioning as a loving caregiver is to be able to handle the inevitable stress that accompanies your job as a caregiver, particularly of caregivers to those suffering from the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

We recognize that employing sensory stress relieving techniques does not come second nature to us, but instead is a technique we must work and practice at to make it an automatic response. It’s much easier to automatically give in to pressure and respond negatively and as caregivers it is the last thing we want to give to our loved one who is depending on us.

 

Learning how to make utilizing sensory stress relief techniques a habit will require some degree of trial and error and then its practice, practice, practice. But, at the end of the day will be just that, a habit you will fall in to that is positive, useful and loving in your  daily caregiving. Below are 3 important tips on how to make stress management a daily ritual in your caregiving:

 

                              WHERE TO BEGIN YOUR STRESS MANAGEMENT

 

  • Test Out Your Tools: Rather than trying to utilize your stress relieving techniques with your care receiver, test out your instant stress relievers on other stress related situations in your life; such as getting stuck in traffic, paying the monthly bills, an uncomfortable confrontation with another family member, or other high and low level stress situations to see what sensory stress relievers work best for you for each level of stress. Once you determine which stress relievers work quickly and effectively every time begin practicing that technique every time that particular stress situation comes up. (Preferably some repetitive situation multiple times a week)

 

  • Recognize What Triggers Your Stress: Through trial and error you will begin to understand what triggers your stress levels to rise and through experimentation which sensory tools work best for you. Be sure to experiment with different sensory stress relief techniques in that particular stress situation so as to make use of one or many of the tools and determine which works fastest for quick stress relief; i.e. in a (occurs repetitively each week) traffic tie-up commute try putting in a CD with soothing music, imaging you’re on a tropical island or spritzing on a favorite perfume. Give your sensory stress relievers a grade for effectiveness and the situations a stress level number as to the amount of stress it causes you; this will enable you to understand what de-stressors to employ for similar levels of stress associated with your caregiving.

 

  • Make it Known to Family & Friends:  Let your family and friends know that you are going to use sensory stress relief techniques in your caregiving. As with trying to either break a bad habit or create a new “good” habit verbalizing our intentions to others reinforces our resolve to actually do it, give family and friends the permission to and request them to later ask how your sensory stress training is coming to help you follow through.

 

  • USE IT or LOSE IT: Try out the different sensory stress relieving techniques in different stress situations, but if a particular method is not working for you move on to another, not everyone has a favorable response to each technique, utilize what works best for you and has the most rapid favorable results.

 

Senior Care Society is proud to have joined with the Alzheimer's Association as a member of the Alzheimer's Early Detection Alliance.  As a member we are committed to educating everyone about the warning signs of Alzheimer's and the importance of early detection.