home care Unless you’ve had to live with the contradictory emotions that come from being a caregiver to a senior relative, you simply cannot understand how stressful it is. When you suddenly find yourself caring for an aging loved one, the stress can be overwhelming. On any given day you can feel exhausted, grateful, resentful, loved, angry, and more, sometimes all at the same time.

If you’re having trouble dealing with the stress of caring for aging loved ones, there are steps you can take right away to improve your own quality of life. Remember: self-care isn’t selfish. It’s a necessary part of being a caregiver, whether you’re a part time or full-time caregiver.

So without further ado, here are three steps you can take today to start coping with the stress of caregiving.

Find a Caregiver Support Group in Your Area
Caregiver support groups are a new trend, but they can be immensely helpful. In most major American cities, you’ll find support groups designed for people dealing with your exact situation. These groups can be especially helpful for younger caregivers who suddenly find themselves responsible for someone else’s quality of life. Not only are these groups great places to find additional resources, but simply talking to other people who understand exactly what you’re going through can be a major stress reliever.

Start Researching Home Care Services
Every year, more than 8.3 million Americans receive care from long-term senior care services, including in home care, nursing homes, hospice care, assisted living communities, and adult day service providers. Yet even though 4.7 million people rely on home health care, it remains one of the misunderstood and underutilized services available to seniors today.

For seniors who can’t or don’t want to live in assisted living or retirement homes, home healthcare services provide a crucial line of support. They can also help family caregivers cope with the needs of an aging loved one. Unlike an in-home nurse, home healthcare agencies help seniors with important tasks around the home. That includes things like taking medication, dressing, cooking, cleaning, laundry, transportation, entertainment, mobility, and so much more.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed acting as the primary caregiver for a loved one, start researching local home care services near you today.

Ask For Help!
Here’s a sobering fact: more than 90% of Americans over the age of 65 have not talked about long-term care with their spouse or adult children, despite the fact that one in three seniors will pass away with a form of dementia like Alzheimer’s — the only top 10 leading cause of death in the United States that cannot be prevented or cured.

Perhaps this is why one sibling or child often ends up acting as the primary caregiver. All too often, one relative finds themselves acting in this role, even if other siblings, relatives, or adult children are fully capable of providing help. If this sounds familiar, do not hesitate to reach out to your family.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for help.