Declining health and the need for in-home health care can add stress to anyone's family. As an in-home healthcare provider, you are caring for clients and their families who may be looking to you to help them find healthy ways of coping. Your client's family is dealing with stress at work, at home, and their loved one's declining health may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. No one's life is entirely stress-free, so it's essential to know how to manage stress in life.
What Are Four Simple Techniques You Can Use With Your Client And Family To Help Reduce Stress?
It can be difficult not to get overwhelmed occasionally. Your client is facing declining health and independence while their family is experiencing increasing stress watching the declining health of their loved one and facing the inevitable questions of mortality. Learning how to manage stress takes practice, but you can help your client and family through education and modeling healthy behaviors.
Take Care of Yourself
While health may be declining, this is not permission to treat yourself poorly. It's essential to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink plenty of fluids, get at least eight hours of quality sleep, and do what is possible to get exercise daily. Even if your client is a wheelchair user, there are exercises they can do to increase their heart rate and release endorphins that help them feel better. Along with eating correctly, it's essential to avoid taking any recreational drugs or alcohol as they may seem to support initially but can create additional problems in the long run.
Use Daily Relaxation Techniques
Teach your client and family relaxation techniques they can use in an immediate situation and help reduce stress long-term. Your client's family may enjoy doing yoga or other physical stretches while your client may enjoy learning meditation, prayer, or listening to calm, soothing music. Especially for clients who are in the early to middle stages of dementia, music can help to slow the progression of cognitive loss and can help retain their function.
Use Positive Self-Talk
Speaking negatively about a situation or a self can quickly snowball feelings of stress and anxiety. Instead, teach your clients how to speak positively about their situation and themselves to reduce their level of stress and improve their overall health.
All positive and negative experiences can be used as a learning experience. By reflecting on what happened during a stressful experience or how your client has reacted to stress, they may learn how those reactions have impacted their overall health and potentially increased their overall stress. Instead, they must be able to see and reflect on their negative experiences to reframe and refocus them into positive experiences.
What About an Emergency Stress Stopper?
While these techniques are great to use in the long term, what happens when you run into a situation that elevates the level of stress quickly? Here are some things you can suggest to your client, and even do yourself!
Count to 10 before you speak and react and take a few slow deep breaths to relax your body and mind.
Do a quick meditation or prayer to gain perspective on the situation.
If an immediate answer is not needed, sleep on it, and respond the next day. This works exceptionally well for emails or social media posts. If it's not possible to wait for 12 or 24 hours, walk away from the situation for at least 30 minutes. You'll be better able to handle things once you have calmed down.
Break the more significant problem into smaller parts and take one step at a time.
Are You Ready to Help A New Client and Family Through The Stress Of Taking On In-Home Care?
At Harmony Home Care, our goal is to offer our clients and caregivers the opportunity to reduce their stress levels and achieve greater joy and comfort in life. If you are ready to take on a new assignment, call our professional recruiters today, we are prepared to help you find a family who is waiting for you!