Caregiver Stress: American Psychological Association Confirms

Senior caregivers well know that their work can be stressful.  Now the American Psychological Association is highlighting the link between stress and health.  Many times the caregiver of a senior can find they have additional health problems because of the stress of caregiving.  The data from the latest Stress in America survey suggests that the connection between stress and health is especially critical among adults age 50 and older who serve as caregivers for a family member.

This is why hiring a professional caregiver delivers more than just care for the senior - it also assists the senior's loved ones to maintain balance in their own life.  And it allows the senior's spouse and children and friends to enjoy quality time with them.

Managing stress in a health way is important for senior caregivers.  One quick stress reliever, which also delivers a health benefit by instantly lowering blood pressure and producing a relaxation response is the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise.

Relaxation Breath Exercise:  The 4-7-8 Breath

This exercise is simple and does not require special equipment - we give credit to Dr. Andrew Weil.

  1. Exhale completely through your moth, making a whoosh sound.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of 4.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of 7.
  4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of 8.
  5. This is 1 breath.  Now inhale again and repeat the cycle 3 more times for a total of 4 breaths.

Now do you feel relaxed?  It works every time.  Always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth.  The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time.  Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation.  The time you spend on each phase is not important: the ratio of 4:7:8 is important.

As everyone is learning the value of having a professional caregiver, those who are interested in working as caregivers may apply for a caregiving job position in their area - just remember to take time to take care of the caregiver!


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