5 steps to reduce the stress of caregiving
Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wis. – HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals recognize caregivers everywhere during National Family Caregivers Month. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 84% of caregivers need more help and information with at least 14 specific topics related to caregiving. The top three topics of concern to caregivers are:
- Keeping their loved one safe
- Managing their own stress
- Making end-of-life decisions
Many caregivers face their own health problems and are under severe emotional stress and physical strain. With the amount of people needing care steadily growing, here are five ways to reduce the stress of caregiving:
- Learn about the family member’s diagnosis. Knowledge about the medical condition helps caregivers understand the disease and plan ahead realistically.
- Discuss finances and health care wishes. Although these conversations can be difficult, they help to better prepare for the future and relieve anxiety.
- Invite family and close friends to discuss the care needed with and for their loved one. This meeting gives caregivers a change to say what they need, plan for care and ask others for help.
- Take advantage of community resources. Meals on Wheels, adult day programs and respite programs can help relieve the workload and offer needed breaks. Look for caregiver educational programs that will increase skills and knowledge while offering support.
- Find support. This may be the most important thing a caregiver can do as they take on more responsibility. Support groups can be helpful in connecting with others who are experiencing the same circumstances.
Debbie Lauer, director of post-acute care for HSHS Wisconsin which includes HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals says caregiving can be overwhelming at times. “It’s important to remember that taking good care of someone else only happens if self-care is a priority.”
To find additional information and your local Aging and Disability Resource Center, visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services webpage at: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/adrc
About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.
About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states - Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.