A family caregiver’s top priority during the holiday season is to make sure their loved ones are safe, healthy, and happy.
However, caregivers require the same care and attention so they can show up as their best and brightest selves.
The Kensington Reston hosted a caregiver workshop from 6-7 p.m. on Dec. 6 to help encourage caregivers to set aside time for themselves so they can feel their best during the holidays.
Let’s take a look at the event and dive into some caregiver self-care tips you can implement this year.
How to balance the role of caregiving and self-care
The holiday season is a joyful time of year, but for many caregivers, it can also be challenging to navigate.
At our caregiver workshop, Kensington Support Coach Susie Sarkisian and our panel of family caregivers will share tips to help you slow down this year and fully savor the season.
Caregivers work tirelessly to support their loved ones, and they require support, too!
During the event, caregivers will be offered the support and encouragement of our panel, who each know first-hand that it’s possible to find a balance with some self-care and stress relief.
The key to a peaceful holiday season is learning to set aside pockets of time for you to do the things you enjoy.
Ways to incorporate methods of stress relief and self-care into your busy routine
As a busy family caregiver, it may feel impossible to find extra time in the day for yourself.
Self-care is often mistaken for self-indulgence, which is why many caregivers feel that self-care is a selfish act.
Instead, caregiver self-care means that you’re addressing your basic needs, and caring for yourself when you’re feeling stressed or unwell.
To practice self-care, you must first be able to slow down enough to identify your needs so you can properly address them.
Self-care can simply mean the following tasks:
- Eating three nourishing meals a day
- Getting enough rest
- Exercising regularly
- Reaching out to friends and family
- Listening to music
- Performing any activity you enjoy
During our caregiver workshop, our panel will share practical advice and techniques on ways to bring care for the caregiver back into your life.
However, carving out this time may require you to ask for help.
Let’s take a look at ways you can ask your friends and family for help—and how to find the courage to do it.
When to ask for help, and how to not be afraid of doing it
If it feels difficult to ask others for help, consider looking at it as an act of love—both for your loved one and for yourself.
If you’re suffering from caregiver stress, it can become increasingly difficult to provide the best care for your loved one.
By asking others for help with certain tasks, you’ll free up some space in your day to address your own needs.
Showing up for yourself will help you be healthy enough to show up for others.
Consider asking family and friends for help with the following tasks:
- Grocery shopping
- Medication pick-up
- Weekly visits or regular calls
- Chores or yard work
How do you know when it’s time to ask for help? Read on to learn the signs and symptoms of caregiver burnout.
When caregiving becomes too much: The signs and symptoms of burnout
Caregiver burnout can occur as a result of prolonged stress and extreme physical and mental exhaustion.
Signs and symptoms of caregiver burnout include:
- Constant fatigue
- Changes in eating habits
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Withdrawing from friends, family, or activities you once enjoyed
- Anxiety or depression
- Physical pain, such as headaches
- Digestive issues
The key to avoiding caregiver stress and burnout is understanding your limits, and the signs in your body that signal you are reaching your limits.
You can then identify where you need help and what you’re able to change to improve your situation—including implementing your personal stress relief and self-care techniques.
The Kensington Reston devotes care to both seniors and their caregivers
The Kensington Reston team understands the challenges caregivers face, including navigating difficult family dynamics in decision-making for a loved one.
We make sure to encourage family and friend involvement as much as possible because senior living is as much about the family as it is about the senior.
Our community is able to offer numerous resources to caregivers, in part because of our partnerships with leading health and brain experts.
Check out the following caregiver resources:
- Recurring caregiver events
- Kensington Konnect, a hub of entertaining, informative, and fun resources
- Blog packed with helpful content for caregivers
Whether you’re ready to move your loved one to assisted living or are serving as a full-time family caregiver, The Kensington Reston is here to offer you our support.
The Kensington Reston, your partner in caregiving
The Kensington Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own family.
Our community is united by these four simple yet powerful Values:
- Love for seniors
- Respect for each other
- Passion for excellence
- Spirit to serve
Our Promise and Our Values are expertly and lovingly executed by our wonderful team members, who weave professional care and compassion into every resident’s daily lives and activities.
With a high degree of sensitivity, our caregivers respect each resident’s need for independence, while carefully watching for cues when they need to lend additional support.
If you’re interested in learning more about our cozy, loving community or our range of services, call us today. We’ll tell you about all the ways we share love and compassion in everything we do, from simple meals to daily activities!