Adult Day Care Can Ease Caregiver Stress
Caring for a parent or another older adult isn't easy. You may feel overwhelmed and stressed out. If you are yearning for some relief, adult day care may be the solution. Research shows it not only helps those enrolled in such programs, but their caregivers, too.
A respite for you
Nearly 40 percent of American adults are caregivers. These people help a relative or another person who has a physical or mental health condition-without being paid. They may run errands, assist with day-to-day activities, or pay bills. Many juggle these tasks with work and other responsibilities.
On a daily basis, caregivers can face high levels of stress. This chronic stress can lead to health problems such as depression and heart disease. Although support is available, only 12 percent of caregivers use respite care. These services tend to loved ones while providing a much-needed break for caregivers.
A type of respite care, adult day care offers health services and social activities. Depending on the program, it may include meals, physical therapy, and recreational opportunities. Research shows it improves the lives of participating older adults.
Caregivers may benefit from it, too. In one study, researchers followed 121 caregivers over a two-month period. They tracked the stress levels of participants as they cared for an older adult with dementia. Caregivers reported less stress on days when their loved ones attended adult day care.
Many different adult day care and other such programs are available. Your area agency on aging can help you find programs close to you. Other helpful sources: the National Adult Day Services Association (www.nadsa.org) and the Eldercare Locator website (www.eldercare.gov).
When choosing the best program for you and your loved one, consider the following:
Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.
Avoid Caregiver Burnout
Constant stress can lead to caregiver burnout. Warning signs include changes in appetite or sleeping habits, difficulty concentrating, and loss of interest in caring for yourself and your loved one. To help avoid caregiver burnout:
Click here for more tips on handling caregiver stress.
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