Did you know that stress not only effects your mentally but physically as well? Stress alone can lead to a compromised immune system and other serious health issues! As stress levels increase the body is made to send warning signs that you can no longer handle it. This is specifically tough on caregivers. They can become burnt out and unable to provide the care their loved one needs. There are a number of warnings signs from emotional, physical, and behavioral.

Emotional warning signs:

  • Anger
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Mood swings
  • Sadness that leads to crying episodes
  • Worrying

Physical warning signs:

  • Sweaty palms
  • Stooped posture
  • Tension headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Chronic back pain
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Problems with sleep
  • Groggy and slow

Behavioral warning signs:

  • Overreacting
  • Anger outbursts
  • Acting on impulse
  • Using alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawing from relationships
  • Changing jobs often

Caregivers deal with a different kind of stress than most people do in their jobs. They have to deal with changes that can overwhelm their emotional capacity easier than most because their role places them in the center of highly emotional situations, whether that is communicating with a family member, hospice nurse, or the client. While stress is not always a bad thing, as it can keep us alert and ready to escape any kind of danger, it is something that caregivers should be aware of.

Since it’s not always easy to avoid stress, the next best thing for caregivers and their clients is to be aware of it when it comes. You never want to get to the point that you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cop. They key to combating stress is being able to recognize it in your life. Once you can recognize it, then learn health ways to combat it. It is also very important to remember that stress comes from your response to stressful events. You do have some say in your stress.

To ensure that caregivers are healthy, happy, and working with lower stress levels, many agencies get creative with ways to engage caregivers and bring them together. Some agencies have brought in different speakers to come and speak their caregivers. From inspirational speakers to former doctors and current caregivers, it proves to be a great way to lift moral and spirits. We have also seen outings such as ice-cream breaks, care giver tea time, client’s days out, this is an opportunity for caregivers to meet and bring their clients along so everyone has someone to be social with! From support groups, social media chats on Facebook and Twitter, there are many great resources for caregivers seeking community as they continue to give one of the greatest gifts they can through their occupation- companionship and hope!

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