We want to be there when our loved ones need help. Perhaps that’s why there are currently nearly 48 million caregivers in the United States, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. But for all the reward caregiving offers, a tremendous amount of stress goes with it too. If left unchecked that stress can be detrimental to your own health. Learn how boutique senior living can help you and your loved one.
The Facts on Caregiving
While it can certainly feel isolating to be a caregiver, you’re not alone in the challenges you face. In fact, the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP’s recently released report, Caregiving in the U.S. 2020, describes:
- 61 percent are women
- 34 percent are Boomers
- 89 percent provide care to a relative
- 40 percent live with the person they care for
- Provide care for 4.5 years on average
- 19 percent provide unpaid care
- Caregivers provide about 24 hours of care each week
- 23 percent say caregiving has made their health worse
- 45 percent have had a least one financial impact
- 61 percent have experienced at least one work-related impact
- 10 percent have had to give up work entirely
- Only 45 percent have their own future care plans in place
While you may know these facts all too well, the report clearly underscores that caregivers need support too as many of these factors put you at higher risk for caregiver stress.
Signs of Caregiver Stress
If you’re like most caregivers, you’re so busy taking care of your loved one, and other responsibilities, that you don’t realize your own physical and mental health are suffering. Watch out for signs that include:
- Being overwhelmed or constantly worried
- Feeling tired often
- Getting too much sleep or not enough sleep
- Gaining or losing weight
- Becoming easily irritated or angry
- Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Feeling sad
- Having frequent headaches, body pain or other physical problems
- Abusing alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications
Coping with Caregiver Stress
It’s vital to take care of yourself, if for no other reason than you’ll be able to better care for your loved one. So, if you do experience the signs above you might want to consider:
- Finding a support group through the Family Caregivers Alliance’s Family Care Navigator
- Building a support network who can help with your loved one
- Keeping up with your own regular doctor visits (and talk about your stress)
- Making a point to eat better and get regular exercise
- Resting when you need it
- Scheduling time to spend with friends, family and to pursue your own interests
Perhaps even more importantly, give yourself a break and know when to ask for help. Realistically you can’t do it all, and shouldn’t have to, especially when there are options like boutique senior living that can offer tremendous benefits for both you and your loved one.
Benefits of Boutique Senior Living
Often, one of the biggest reasons that caregivers take on this responsibility for their loved one is the hesitancy of moving to senior living. We get it! Traditional senior living communities can feel crowded and institutional – too much of a stark transition from home. But there is an alternative known as boutique senior living. It’s residential care that’s provided in a single-family home. We believe it blends the best of both worlds – the comfort of home with the quality care and amenities of traditional communities.
In fact, our boutique senior living homes are specially crafted for assisted living or memory care with 10 to 16 residents max. Plus a nearly unheard of 1 to 5 caregiver to resident ratio that ensures your loved one has the personalized attention they deserve.
The home environment feels comfortable and familiar from the décor to the layout and large yard to family-style meals on one of our signature homemade farm tables. Even the charming neighborhood location may feel similar to where your loved one lives now.
How do the amenities compare? Your loved one won’t lack for anything with laundry and cleaning services, complimentary Wi-Fi, transportation and safety features such as fall alert pendants, state-of-the-art video monitoring and keypad entry/exit access. And our activity programs include exercises, socialization, cognitive stimulation and immersive activities as well as outings and live entertainment.
All this makes it a much easier transition for your loved one. Plus, it can ease your stress and give you the opportunity to enjoy life with them again as daughter, son, husband or wife instead of the caregiver!
For more information on boutique senior living at Shepherd Premier or to schedule a virtual tour, call (224) 333-6247 to speak to a team member.