A Certified Social Worker and Director of New York's division of Plaza Nurses Agency has a free guide of problem solving and stress reduction tips for those involved with caring for sick and frail elderly. Call 516 887-1200, Ext 253 to be put on the mailing list. His initial suggestions are
Identify stress sources
Change expectations of yourself (don't expect perfection. Seek help when needed)
Review your job to help solve caregiving and work conflicts.
Tap into the community support network, Always call your local Area Agency on Aging
Find ways to put some fun into your schedule to unwind. Otherwise you tend to end up as devastated as the person you're caring for.
STRESS??: (1998) "Worker absenteeism has climbed to its highest level in seven years, costing employers millions of dollars. Employee absenteeism jumped 25% just since last year, according to a new survey of absences from June 1997 to May 1998 by CCH, a provider of human resources information. Dollars lost to absenteeism have jumped 32% since last year, or nearly $4 million for a large company. Family issues are now the most often-cited reason for time off, replacing illness as employees' #1 excuse for not coming to work."
STRESS: (Roper Starch Worldwide 1999) Women around the world, especially mothers, are more likely than men to say they feel stressed, a global survey of 30,000 people shows. Full-time working mothers with children under 13 report the most: 24% feel some type of stress almost every day. Overall, the survey finds that 21% of women experience an immense amount of stress, compared with 15% of men.
Tips and Techniques for Dealing with Stress, By Dr. Rita Nachen Gugel (2005)
Change is an expected part of our daily lives today. Dealing with it so that YOU control IT rather than vice versa is an important and positive force in controlling your life. Try a few of these tips.
1. Accept what you cannot change. Take a tip from AA. Change what you can, if it bothers you. But, if you cannot change it, learn to live with it.
2. Face up to your problems. Sort them out, and see which ones are real and which are simply imagined. Deal with them as they are, and not what you think they are.
3. Deal with one problem at a time. Sort out your priorities, and deal with them in the order of their importance to you.
4. Be flexible. Give in once and a while. If you do, others will too.
5. Dont hold all of your worries inside yourselftalk it out. Frequently we swallow our unhappiness (along with candy, cake, ice cream, etc.) because we cant let the problems out. Talk to someone. A burden shared is much less of a burden.
6. Work off Stress. Physical outlets for stress help your body to fight off many of the negative results of stress.
7. Get enough rest/relaxation/sleep. Give your body a chance to recover from day to day. Lack of sleep and rest will only make matters worse for you.
8. Avoid self medication. A spoonful of sugar may make the medicine go down, but it does your body no good. Sugar, alcohol, nicotine, and ice cream may all feel good going down, but they make matters worsefrom the inside. They add to your bodys physical stresses, thus making dealing with external stresses much harder.
9. Take time to smell the roses. Have some fun. Relax.
10. Think about and do something for others. A little altruism never hurt. It even makes people feel better about themselves.
11. Be the captain of your ship. If you are not happy with your life, think about whats wrong or missing, and then plan the necessary actions to change it to coincide with your needs and desires for your life.
12. Work on your relationships with those who share your life. Dont hold back your feelings. Share them with your family and friends and co-workers. It can help to decrease tensions.