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Caregiver Resilience

May 25, 2018

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Elk Run by Augustana Care is a non-profit, faith based assisted living community in Evergreen that also offers respite services. Respite services are an option for families who need guilt-free time away from caregiving or for the person who needs additional rehabilitation before going home. Elk Run has a comfortable, tranquil setting next to 1,140 acres of elk preserve. Call 303-679-8777 to schedule a tour.

Resilience is the ability to withstand, recover and sometimes grow when faced with adversity. This capacity to adapt and cope is never more important than it is in a caregiver. Resilience can be strengthened, helping to sustain caregiver health while expanding your capacity to care despite the demands you face.

Start by recognizing the warning signs for burn-out and overstress, which can manifest in a variety of ways. Anger at a loved one who needs help, social withdrawal, chronic health problems, sleeplessness, anxiety and depression are all signs of exhaustion and breakdown on the part of the caregiver.

As a caregiver, you need to give yourself permission to reach out for help when you are being stretched too far. Be specific with your request to family members. Try saying “Can you take Grandmother to the dentist?” instead of “I never get a break!” If family is not local, consider hiring part-time help or contact Elk Run to learn more about respite care.

There are proven relaxation techniques to help reduce stress and restore energy while contributing to the overall well-being of the caregiver. Exercise,  a full night’s sleep, attention to your health, eating well, engaging in activities that you consider enjoyable, are all important elements in managing your stress. Regular interaction with people who are experiencing similar issues can alleviate the feeling that you are alone in your efforts. Elk Run’s partner, Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice, offers free caregiver survival skills and a monthly caregiver support group.

  •  How do resilient people deal with their stress?
  • Believe something good is coming their way
  • Seek social support and are willing to accept help
  • Face fears by practicing thoughts and behaviors that encourage strength
  • Participation in a faith building organization
  • Find purpose in daily living through service to others
  • Associate with positive, life affirming people
  • Attention to physical fitness and daily movement
  • Engage in brain stimulating activities
  • Embrace change and view life with a flexible perspective

Knowing help is available can make the biggest difference in a caregiver’s outlook. Elk Run Assisted Living offers respite care, arranging a short stay (30 days or less) for your loved one, allowing you to rest and recuperate. Counseling, support groups and therapy are available locally to help with transitions relating to dementia. Elk Run can help you explore the many options for assistance as you manage the care of your loved one.