Caregiver Corner... Starting with this post, we will be devoting this “corner” to families/caregivers. The stars that border this article, represent all of you - the family members and caregivers who are the real “stars” as you devote your time, energy, patience and love in the care of your loved one. We also want you to know that we are “in your corner” as together, we strive to offer the best and safe care for your loved one while they are here at HIAC. Ideas, suggestions, articles and links to other resources to help you will be shared here. If there are any issues or topics that you would like more in-formation on, please contact us at 961-3747 and let us know!
Tips to Manage Caregiver Stress:
Use relaxation techniques
There are several simple relaxation techniques that can help relieve stress. Try more than one to find which works best for you. Techniques include:
 Visualization (mentally picturing a place or situation that is peaceful and calm)
 Meditation (which can be as simple as dedicating 15 minutes a day to letting go of all stressful thoughts)
 Breathing exercises (slowing your breathing and focusing on taking deep breaths)
 Progressive muscle relaxation (tightening and then relaxing each muscle group, starting at one end of your body and working your way to the other end)
Get moving
Physical activity — in any form — can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Even 10 minutes of exercise a day can help. Take a walk. Do an activity you love, such as gardening or dancing.
Find time for yourself
Consider taking advantage of respite care so you can spend time doing something you enjoy. Respite care provides caregivers with a temporary rest from caregiving, while your loved one continues to receive care in a safe environment. HIAC offers a monthly Caregiver Respite Day held each third Saturday of every month. Activities include a healthy continental brunch, one-on-one caregiver support, massage, hands-on caregiver skills, relaxation techniques, nutrition suggestions and the opportunity to “talk story” with other caregivers. You may bring your loved one with you that day and we will care for him/he while you get the well-deserved respite time.
Become an educated caregiver
Whether your loved one has dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease or any other debilitating condition, make some time to read up and research on the symptoms, progressions and suggestions on how to provide care for your loved one. Check your local newspaper or organization affiliate for support groups that are offered in your community. At HIAC, we offer a once a month caregiver support group that is held at our center on each third Thursday where many topics are discussed surrounding being a caregiver.
Take care of yourself
Visit your doctor regularly. Try to eat well, exercise and get plenty of rest. Making sure that you are healthy can help you be a better caregiver.