National Family Caregivers Month: How Family Caregivers Can Reduce Stress

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Home Instead Senior Care shares tips on how family caregivers can reduce stress while caring for others

November is National Family Caregivers Month and Home Instead Senior Care will join the nationwide celebration to recognize the 44 million Americans who care for a family member, friend or neighbor. On average, caregivers spend 253 hours per month caring for an older adult, which is equivalent to nearly two full time jobs. Caregivers often put so much energy into caring for others, they neglect their own health and well-being, which can lead to debilitating stress.

“We find so often that caregivers get burned out – and that burnout can really be detrimental to the health of the caregiver and to the care recipient,” said Lakelyn Hogan, gerontologist at Home Instead Senior Care. “When I’m talking with caregivers, I always stress how important it is to find a support network.”

The responsibility of caring for a loved one can cause emotional and physical stress. Evidence shows caregivers have elevated levels of stress hormones. Symptoms of stress include anger, anxiety, sadness, exhaustion and guilt, and may signal that a caregiver needs assistance or additional support.

Home Instead Senior Care offers the following tips to help caregivers avoid and reduce stress:

  • Work out. Set aside 20 minutes of your day, at least three times a week, to engage in some form of physical activity such as walking, dancing or running. Exercise is proven to increase overall health and your sense of well-being.
  • Prioritize your own health. Unfortunately, many caregivers sacrifice their health when caring for a loved one, which may result in the inability to provide the best care. Pay close attention to your own health and stay up to date on medical appointments.
  • Reach out. It’s okay to ask for help and take a break. Ask family members or friends to sit with a loved one so you can have time to focus on yourself. A professional caregiver also can provide additional support, from light housework to personal care for your loved one.
  • Eat well. Caregiving can be time consuming and physically draining, but your body will thank you for eating fruits and vegetables instead of fast food, sugar and caffeine.
  • Talk to someone. It’s nice to have someone to talk with who understands exactly what you are going through. Seek out other caregivers who have had similar experiences for support.

For more information on how to reduce caregiver stress, visit

Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Neb., by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today this network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout the United States and 12 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual’s needs. Services span the care continuum from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family care education and support resources. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.

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Dan Wieberg
Home Instead Senior Care
+1 (402) 575-5970
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