self-help for a stressed out caregiver

home

search

article menu

featured article
about us moodraiser blog

contact us

 



A woman wrote to Adam Khan (author of Self-Help Stuff That Works) and asked a question. She wrote:

My mother had a massive stroke 4 years ago. She is now 91. She is right side paralyzed and cannot speak. Her prognosis is that her dementia will only get worse. My husband and I have her at home with us with caregivers. My problem is I get angry with her for not trying to do anything at all for herself. I have come to realize that maybe she cannot do anything for herself, so I need to learn to solve that problem of anger.

Secondly, I feel guilty for not taking care of her myself, but she requires 24 hour care as she is totally dependent and if I did take care of her I would have no life at all.

The third problem is the stress I feel in trying to manage the caregivers. I never wanted to be a manager and have been forced into the situation of managing 5 people who work 9-5 in our house every day. Our house is not our own.

I guess my question is how do I handle the stress of my mother dying right in front of my eyes everyday and the stress of having to manage 5 caregivers, schedules, payroll, training, quitting, hiring etc. The stress of it is causing me to feel very tired. My husband and I are 60 years old. I know there are other people going through this, but what are your hints for handling chronic/terminal illness of a close relative in your home for a long period of time. My only thought is that I am keeping her out of a nursing home and she is getting good care in our home. That is the ONLY positive thing about all of this...all the rest is negative.
Thanks for your website.


 

Here is Adam's answer:

I've come up with a few things that might make your life easier or more pleasant or less stressful. But before I get into that, I just want to say that I think you are demonstrating incredible commitment doing what you're doing instead of taking the easy way out and sending her to a nursing home.

Okay, here are my suggestions:

1. That you take one day completely off every week, no matter what you have to do to make that happen. Any hospice worker will tell you that. If you don't, you will eventually burn out, and that is bad for everyone.

2. Read the The One Minute Manager. It will help you with your managing task. It is available to listen to on audio if you don't have time to read it. Good stuff. Very practical, very simple.

3. Every morning re-make your commitment that you will conduct yourself in such a way that for the rest of your life you will feel proud of what you did. You're sacrificing a lot here, and you should at least get the benefit of personal pride out of it, and if you conduct yourself with that in mind, you'll be able to honestly look back on what you did and feel proud of yourself and glad you did it.

4. Meditate, even ten minutes every day. It removes some of the stress hormones (especially cortisol and lactate) from your blood, and that will give you some relief from the stress. I have resources on my web site to help you learn to meditate, if you don't already know how.

Let me know how it goes, okay?

Adam

Editor's note: A new article in InteliHealth has some more good suggestions on this subject: Caregivers Cope With Stress


Her reply:

Hi Adam,

Thank you for your reply. I printed off a copy of your suggestions and have them sitting on my dresser in my bedroom. I will give it a try. I think your website is great and maybe you can add your suggestions to me to your site. I am sure there are a lot of people out there stressing out taking care of chronically ill loved ones in their homes. Thank you again for your kind response.

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
Moodraiser
Articles and Interviews
Learn about sustaining motivation, improving relationships, relieving depression, improving your health, reducing anxiety, becoming more optimistic, enjoying a better mood more often, earning more money, expanding your creativity, making better decisions, resolving conflicts, and much more.

Self-Help Menu
Want to learn to enjoy your relationships with people more? Do better at work? Feel good more often? Have a better attitude? Use the self-help menu.

Facebook and Twitter
We post on Facebook and Twitter a few times a week, focusing on helping you feel good more often.

Search For Anything On YMW
Type in any topic and find all the material on YouMe Works on that topic. You can also browse topics on this page.

Subscribe to Moodraiser
Get articles delivered to your email inbox free. Learn simple methods for lifting your general feeling of well-being right away, and improving your mood over time.

.

Google
 

Explore This Site | Immediate Relief | Bite Size | Home | Contact
Copyright © 2001-2099 -
YouMe Works Publications - All rights reserved.