Health and Wellness

How To Deal With The Immense Stress Of Caring For An Old Parent

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Stress isn’t just something you feel in your mind: it also affects your body. When you feel stressed, it changes the way your biochemistry works, speeding the aging process and putting you at higher risk of disease. 


Looking after an elderly parent is a major cause of stress. In fact, it is so bad that research shows that it can shorten your telomeres – the tiny protective caps on the end of your chromosomes. When this happens, it speeds the aging process and leads to premature senescence – not what you want., 


Fortunately, there are several strategies that you can use to reduce caregiver stress and improve your health. Here’s what you need to do: 


Guard Your Mental Wellbeing


In life, you get what you tolerate. So, if you’re okay with being stressed out of your mind most of the time, you will be. 


The trick here is to take action. Don’t allow yourself to bob along with your emotions. Instead, choose to regulate your inner state, says


When your parents say or do something that you don’t like, you don’t have to react. They don’t have to conform to your wishes. The world will be okay if they don’t. Remind yourself of that fact and keep yourself peaceful. 


Remember That It Could Be Worse


According to, nearly two-thirds of nursing home residents experience some form of abuse during their tenure. For this reason, it’s worth reminding yourself that things could be worse. You could be fretting about their treatment in a home. At least when you’re caring for them, you can ensure their welfare. 


Ask People For Help

Friends, family and even charities are often able and willing to offer caregivers help when looking after elderly parents. You don’t always have to do it alone. Sometimes, small things, like making the dinner or doing the dishes can make all the difference. 


Remind Yourself That You Need Care As Well


If you’re not in a good place, you won’t be able to provide a high quality of care for your elderly parents. Chronic exhaustion leaves you unable to function how you want. 


Remind yourself that it’s not all about them – it’s about you too. The more you can look after yourself, the happier they will be long-term. 


Be kind to yourself by scheduling regular breaks away from your routine care work. Hire short-term carers to come in from time to time and cater to all your parents’ needs. 


Keep An Eye Out For Burnout


Burnout is more insidious than exhaustion. It occurs when you’re mentally, physically and emotionally drained, leading to symptoms such as cynicism and disengagement. 


To avoid this, be watchful of your attitude. If you notice that you’re snapping a lot or finding it hard to care about things, then take a step back from your role for a short time to recuperate. Often, taking regular breaks is the best remedy. 


In conclusion, dealing with the stress of an elderly relative isn’t easy, but it is sometimes necessary. To provide them with the best care possible, you need to look after yourself, first and foremost.

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