Helping Family Caregivers Find Resiliency in a Time of Crisis
Times of crisis can sometimes bring out both the very best and also the worst in us. During the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve come across stories of people hoarding items and selling them in order to make an excessive profit, along with stories of wonderful people who selflessly met the needs of others in spite of their personal fears.
The key to weathering the storms which are certain to show up in our lives in a healthy and balanced way is resiliency. Mia Bartoletti, clinical psychologist for the Navy SEAL Foundation, works with families of people serving in the armed forces, and provides guidelines for helping family caregivers find resilience through any time of crisis.
- Convey your reactions. It is common to have an array of responses to a crisis: flashbacks to other stressful situations, dreams and nightmares, avoidance and withdrawal, issues with sleeping, irritability, difficulties with focus and concentration, and hypervigilance. What is important is to ensure these reactions are temporary, and do not progress into long-term psychological problems. Acknowledge your feelings, and express them with a reliable friend, or write them in a journal.
- Continue to keep social connections. While your reaction might be to pull away from family and friends during a crisis, staying in touch on a regular basis with those you care about is very important. Locating a support group for family caregivers, whether in person or online, is another good way to make sure you are forming and preserving social ties, making it possible to talk with others in the same situation.
- Take time for self-care. This means different things to each individual, but should include enjoyable activities, engaging interests and hobbies, healthy meals, a good amount of sleep, and exercise. If you find that it is hard to carve out self-care time for yourself as a result of caregiving duties, Hired Hands Homecare cares about helping family caregivers and is always here to partner with you to provide reliable respite care. Looking after yourself lets you take better care of those you love.
- Accept what you are able to control – and that which you cannot. Letting go of what is out of your control and focusing instead on what you CAN control is one of the fundamentals of resilience. Psychologist Mary Alvord, who founded Resilience Across Borders, explains, “Depression is hopelessness and helplessness, and so resilience is the opposite. No, you’re not helpless; you do have control over many aspects of your life.”
It is always a wise idea to seek professional counseling in the event your reactions to stressful situations are impeding your ability to maintain a sense of calm and also to tend to the essential day-to-day activities of living. And, watch for signs that older family members are experiencing excessive degrees of stress so that you can obtain the help that they need as well.
Recognize that whatever life may bring, you can depend on Hired Hands Homecare to walk beside you with trustworthy, knowledgeable aging care services that encourage seniors to remain resilient and independent. Contact us online or call us at (866) 940-4343 to find out more about our in-home dementia care in Pleasanton, CA and the surrounding communities.