Keeping Your Loved One Calm by Managing Your Own Anxiety

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

February 26, 2016

Home Care in Upper St. Clair PA

There is no denying that being a family caregiver for your elderly loved one can be stressful, but it is how you choose to handle this stress and the anxiety that is often a result of it throughout theHome-Care-in-Upper-St.-Clair-PA course of your home care journey with your aging parent that makes the difference between a healthy and beneficial care relationship, and one that is challenging and even unhealthy. Managing your own anxiety is not just about keeping yourself at your best and reducing the mental, emotional, cognitive, and physical effects of this issue, but also about keeping your parent calmer and reducing these negative effects for her as well.
Anxiety can have a serious damaging effect on your care relationship with your parent. This issue immediately makes a person feel less safe, reducing the changes that your parent will be cooperative with your care efforts and trust you to do what is right for her throughout your care efforts. It can also increase the chances of physical and medical conditions, including stroke and digestive problems. Watching your loved one deal with anxiety, particularly if you are not upfront and honest with yourself about your own anxiety and how it has impacted your senior, can then make you feel more worried about her, further increasing your anxiety and continuing the cycle. Learning to confront and manage your anxiety will improve the quality of your care and your parent’s quality of life.
Try these tips to help keep your loved one calm by managing your own anxiety:

  • Be honest with yourself. The effect of anxiety is often more pronounced when you are not honest with yourself about the fact that you are feeling anxious or that your anxiety has an impact on those around you. Evaluate your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and determine if they are coming from a place of anxiety. This self-awareness gives you better perspective and enables you to make changes in your life and care.
  • Journal. Journaling is an activity that can have a wide variety of benefits throughout your care journey, particularly the reduction of anxiety. Writing about what you are going through and how you feel gives you an outlet for your emotions and your anxiety, enabling you to release it so that you feel better and are not expressing this anxiety throughout your care efforts.
  • Address issues. When you have recognized that you are dealing with anxiety, take the time to evaluate it and find the origin of that anxiety. Once you have found the issues that are contributing to your anxiety, find ways to resolve it. Whether it is asking the doctor questions about your parent’s health so that you can feel more confident in your care, connecting with your partner and strengthening your relationship, or restructuring your finances for greater comfort, do what you can to actually ease your anxiety for improved health and perspective.
  • Take time to yourself. Even if there is not a specific origin of your anxiety, just being in a care relationship can make you feel anxious. Taking a break and allowing an in home health care services provider take over some of your care can take pressure off of you and allow you to focus on other elements of your life so that you feel calmer and more in control.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Upper St. Clair, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551