As a caregiver, your days are busy caring for others, which can result in forgetting to care for your own needs. And with the holidays beginning to ramp up, things are about to get even busier.
To help you prepare for the added demands of the holiday season, the Kensington Sierra Madre hosted a free, interactive caregiver workshop on Dec 6, from 6-7 p.m. via Zoom.
Join Director of Family Services Susie Sarkisian and her panel as they explore self-care for caregivers, what it involves, how to carve out much-needed minutes for yourself, along with real-world tips and techniques caregivers can begin implementing right away.
How to balance the role of caregiving and self-care
Balancing caregiving demands and self-care can be challenging, and caregiver burnout can often happen when you’re trying to do too much.
Caregivers experiencing burnout may feel anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, or constantly exhausted.
That’s why caregiver self-care is so important.
Celebrating the simple moments, focusing on those elements you can control, and asking for help when you need it are just a few things you can do to begin slowing down and preventing—or reversing—the effects of caregiver burnout.
During our caregiver workshop, Susan will share real-world insight she and her panel have learned first-hand about how not just to survive the holidays but to thrive.
Ways to incorporate methods of stress relief and self-care into your busy routine
While many caregivers would love to make time for self-care, the reality of carving out precious minutes can seem impractical, if not impossible. Some days, there just aren’t enough hours to get it all done.
Caregiver self-care doesn’t have to mean making yourself unavailable for days on end. Some of the most effective methods of self-care for caregivers are also some of the simplest to implement.
But it all starts with slowing down. Before you can start planning ways to implement a little caregiver TLC, you have to identify those areas most need.
If you’re feeling run down, never seem to have enough energy, feel irritable, or are unable to concentrate, start by asking yourself some simple questions like these.
- Am I eating breakfast every morning? What about three nourishing meals?
- Am I sleeping well? Do I have trouble falling asleep? Staying asleep?
- Am I exercising regularly? At all?
Once you’ve identified an area that could benefit from a little bolstering, you can begin making a few minor adjustments to your day.
- Preparing breakfast the night before can help ensure a nourishing breakfast if you’re always short on time in the morning.
- Turning off devices, like cell phones and tablets, an hour before bed can help improve sleep.
- A brisk walk around the block at lunchtime can be a mood-boosting way to increase physical activity.
These are just a few ideas of how small changes can positively impact your day. We’ll explore more ways to tackle a range of holiday demands at our upcoming workshop.
When to ask for help in caregiving, and not be afraid of doing it
Asking for help when needed is one of the most selfless actions you can take for your loved one.
Caregiver self-care helps you recharge your batteries, allowing you to be there when you’re needed—and capable of handling the task at hand. Taking care of yourself means you’ll feel better and be better able to provide the level of care you want for those you love.
Asking family and friends to chip in can go a long way toward combatting and preventing caregiver burnout. Consider reaching out for small tasks that free up time on your calendar.
Can a neighbor pick up a few extra groceries, saving you a separate trip to the store? Can a family member stop by and visit your loved one, allowing you time to cook meals for the week ahead?
When caregiving becomes too much: Signs and symptoms of burnout
Many caregivers become so focused on being there for those who need them, especially if they’re dealing with memory limitations, Alzheimer’s, or other types of dementia, they overlook tending to their own needs.
When that neglect continues, it can lead to caregiver burnout.
Caregiver burnout can show up in several different ways, including:
- Feelings of worry, anxiety, depression, sadness, grief
- Chronic illness
- Exhaustion—physical, emotional, and mental
- Loss of appetite
- Losing interest in hobbies or other activities
- Withdrawing from social activities
- Poor sleep patterns
- Feelings of helplessness
How The Kensington Sierra Madre devotes care to both seniors and caregivers
The Kensington Sierra Madre understands the reality of the daily challenges of navigating difficult family dynamics—especially when it comes to decision-making on behalf of a loved one.
That’s why we prioritize family.
We understand what it’s like when a loved one lives in a community like The Kensington Sierra Madre. And it’s why we strive to provide caregiver support resources like our upcoming workshop, our blog, and Kensington Konnect—a caregiver resource portal offering information, podcasts, and more.
At the The Kensington Sierra Madre, our team of amazing senior care professionals is here to help—not just during the holidays but all throughout the year.
Our Promise is to love and care for our residents as we do our own family
Every day, we live out a Promise to our residents and ourselves—to love and care for your family as we love and care for our own.
That promise, combined with our core values—a genuine love for seniors, respect for everyone, a passion for excellence in everything we do, and a spirit of service—is what makes Kensington Sierra Madre special.
Kensington Senior Living, your partners in caregiving
We work with our residents and their families to ensure each The Kensington Sierra Madre family member is living their best life by providing individual care and support, like accommodating special diets, when needed while ensuring their independence.