Did you know that there are 34 million unpaid caregivers that provide care to adults who are ill either mentally or physically in the United States?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the “typical” caregiver is about 49 years old with some college education and provide about 20 hours of care per week. 83% of these caregivers are family members.
About half (53%) of these caregivers report that there own health (physical or mental health) has gotten worse as a result. This decline begins to effect their ability to give care (NAC – National Association for Caregiving, 2004).
*So what helps these family caregivers cope with added stress?
- 73% said that praying helped them
- 61% said that they talk to friends, other relatives, a therapist, and/or a spiritual adviser.
- 44% said that they read books and read other written materials that are helpful to them.
Below are some resources I found that address what caregivers said helped them to better cope:
Website: Care Giver Stress This site provides many articles, videos, and programs to assist the caregiver with their own stress.
Article: Books for Caregivers This article, by caregiving expert, Sheri Snelling lists 17 books for family caregivers:
Advisers and Advocates: A Place for Mom This organization will assign you an adviser that can provide an insider’s view on your local care options, senior resources and can help you compare the features of each community. They also will assist you in advocating for quality senior care.
Restorative Yoga Classes: Restorative yoga classes are…restorative, and recuperative. These classes are for all levels. The use of props in the classes support your body, and allow you to stay in restful poses for longer periods of time. The restorative poses are ones that allow for deep relaxation, a quieting of the mind. Each pose encourages deep breathing, and triggers the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is activated by the relaxation response and is the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which activates the “fight or flight” response. Caregiver stress results in over activation of the SNS so these classes help to bring the body back into balance. They help you to naturally slow yourself down.
Restorative yoga classes create health by activating the relaxation response and bringing the body and mind back to balance [click to tweet]
For Barb and all caregivers: The red lotus symbolizes love, compassion, and all qualities of the original nature of the heart. I am grateful for the love and compassion you show. I see your devoted presence and loving care that provides much comfort. As we transition to spring the season of hope, may you find a sense of renewal and regeneration. Just like in nature, may you embrace the light and aliveness that is around you and within you. Thank you. ~Chris