Family Caregivers, How Can Counseling Help?
Being a family caregiver is emotionally and mentally draining. The stress of caring for a loved one can accumulate and pile up. Eventually, you either crack under the pressure and express annoyance, agitation, or anger; or you might descend into depression. Neither of these situations is desirable. So what can you do?
One option is to seek out a care manager and/or an aging life care professional who can help you identify the techniques, strategies and resources you need improve your quality of life, as well as that of your aging loved one. Many times, organizations offering these programs can pair you with an aging life care professional who can provide caregiver-specific counseling. Another option is to seek out a mental health care professional and organize private sessions to respond to personal crises.
The goal of meeting with a counselor of any kind is to convey the challenges you are facing to him or her and to work with them on strategies to overcome those challenges. As family caregivers, you may not always know the appropriate response to a difficult situation or a tactful solution to an immediate problem. Not knowing is understandable. Nobody has ever given you some caregiver handbook so you could anticipate every possible problem. This is why counselors are here to help.
As a result of speaking with a professional, you will be encouraged to actively practice strategies to help relieve stress, make you an effective caregiver, and to help you respond effectively to challenges.
How Can Counselors Help?
Depending on with whom you speak, you will get different forms of guidance. For instance, a counselor who specializes with Alzheimer’s can provide you specific techniques on how to respond to an Alzheimer’s patient. These counselors are ideal if you have a loved one with dementia. On the other hand, a mental health counselor can help you find techniques to alleviate stress or any other impairing emotions you experience in your personal life. In general, you can expect counselors to guide you with the following:
1) Focusing on what you can control
2) Mindfulness and Breathing (stress reduction)
3) Finding the Appropriate Resources
4) Managing Everyday Challenges
So, if you are feeling burned out, overstressed, or depressed, then you must seek guidance. If you have health insurance, see what kinds of resources are included in your policy. Scheduling a mental health visit or an appointment with an aging life care professional is just a phone call away.
If you have questions call us at ElderCare and we can help refer you to the appropriate resource. Visit our website or call us at 888-285-0093.