Caregivers: Better Reduce Stress for Your Health

Family caregivers face stress and anxiety. Caregivers often see a decline in their physical and mental health since many times they ignore their health. There is a better way for the entire family.

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Caregivers: Better Reduce Stress for Your Health
5 Min Read August 22nd, 2020 Updated:March 24th, 2022

See any new grey hair when you woke up this morning? America is getting older, and more family members find themselves becoming caregivers for their Mom or Dad. The family usually finds itself in a crisis when no advance plan was put in place to address the financial costs and burdens of aging.

When a loved one needs long-term health care, it becomes an emotional time for everyone, including the care recipient and caregivers. If the care recipient's spouse is living, and they are independent, they are probably older and physically unable to provide the care themselves due to their age and perhaps pre-existing health issues themselves. Adult children are usually untrained and unprepared and have their careers and families they need to consider.

Being a caregiver is not easy. A considerable amount of stress and physical effort comes with being a caregiver for a person in a long-term care situation. Helping a person with their daily activities of daily living is hard on a good day. When you add the stress of caregiving and its pressure on the caregiver's other responsibilities, it becomes a recipe for disaster unless you can manage the pressure effectively.

Remember, caregivers need to juggle caregiving responsibilities with their own responsibilities, including their obligations for their families and careers. 

There are consequences for the entire family. Aging and declining help is stressful for everyone - young and old.

Experts say you should watch for the signs that the stress is becoming too much. These signs include:

  • Swings in emotions – from crying to anger
  • Wide swings in weight
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Lower interest in family and friends
  • Frequent headaches or stomach issues

There are several ways to address stress. Some people seek counseling. The ability to discuss your concerns and emotions with a professional can bring peace to your life. The professional therapist is not there to judge you but to listen. The therapist can give you strategies to deal with your emotions and stress.

Caregivers Need to Take Care of Themselves - Meditation Can Help

If you have become the caregiver - either part-time - or full-time - you need to address your physical and mental health. Meditation is one way many experts suggest as a way to reduce your stress. Meditation can help with more than just stress - learn more about the positive benefits of meditation for family caregivers by clicking here.

Wipe Away Stress with Meditation

The Mayo Clinic says that meditation is a way to "wipe away" the stress and high emotions that come from having the responsibility of caregiving.  

You don't need to keep your worry inside you, and there is no need to live with the anxiety. While some people have medical issues where anxiety medications can help, experts suggest using meditation to see if it helps.

There are many benefits to meditation. It may help you gain a new perspective on your situation. Sometimes a caregiver places blame on their loved one. Often, they place the blame on themselves, and both are wrong.

You can also gain skills to manage your stress better. If you can manage the stress of caregiving, it will benefit your health and that of the loved one you are caring for.

Time Management Reduces Anxiety

The ability to manage your time will also reduce stress and anxiety. Most family caregivers still have careers and their own families that they must juggle. Once you manage your day and schedule time for yourself and your family, you will reduce some of the pressure that the role of caregiver places on you.

AARP offers ten tips to help you manage your time – click here.

If you are already a caregiver, you must deal with the hand you are dealt with. However, what have you done to reduce the stress and burdens placed on your family when you need long-term care in the decades ahead?

Parent Just Starting to Need Care. Now What?

If the crisis is just starting now and you need to provide care, where do you start?

If your parent has a Long-Term Care policy, it will be much easier. But don't delay in using the benefits from the policy. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea. 

LTC NEWS can assist you with our partnership with Amada Senior Care. This partnership offers you FREE - NO OBLIGATION professional assistance in processing a Long-Term Care Insurance claim.

Whether you are an insurance agent, financial advisor, lawyer, family member, friend, or neighbor, our FREE service will get the process started.

You will also get assistance finding appropriate care for you or your loved one, no matter the setting or type of services required. There is no obligation to use Amada, but they can be an option for many home care services nationwide. If you are a family member or representative of the insured click here and complete the form 

If they don't own a policy, start by doing some research. These four guides are a good resource -  

You can get assistance finding care by clicking here.

Prepare Your Family and Finances for Your Future Care

When is the best time to obtain Long-Term Care Insurance? The best time to prepare your family and your finances for the financial costs and burdens of aging is before you retire, ideally when you are in your 40s or 50s. For many American families, the solution is affordable Long-Term Care Insurance. Most people end up obtaining Long-Term Care Insurance in their 50s.

You might have read that Long-Term Care Insurance is expensive and very hard to get. The truth is if you purchase a policy at the right time, an LTC policy is very affordable and easy to apply for and own. There are a few basics you should be aware of when thinking about planning:

  • Purchase when you enjoy good health. You can't wait until you need the care to buy a policy. Every insurance company has different underwriting criteria. When you speak with a Long-Term Care Insurance specialist, they will ask you many detailed questions about your health, including getting the names of your medications. Family history also plays a role. If they don't ask you many detailed questions, you better move on and speak to another agent.
  • Premiums vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same benefits. Be sure you speak with a specialist who represents the top companies. They will match you with the best company based on your age, health, and family history.
  • Most states offer Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance. These policies provide dollar-for-dollar asset protection. A Partnership policy could be a significant part of your retirement plan by safeguarding your assets even if you were to exhaust all your benefits.
  • Several insurance companies offer Hybrid Long-Term Care Insurance policies. The selling point here is you get both a death benefit and a long-term care benefit. These policies are not for everyone, but again, a specialist can help you determine if this might be a good option.
  • Many companies offer shared spousal benefits. This means benefits can be shared between partners, even if one passes away.
  • Many policies include case management. A nurse case manager can help your family design a plan of care and even find appropriate care. This gives the family time to be family.

Tools to Research LTC Insurance

You can compare the major features of the top insurance companies by clicking here. The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you both the current and future cost of care services where you live. You will see the financial consequences professional care services would have on your savings and income. 

You also will see state-specific information about long-term care, taxes, tax incentives, and ways to find quality care services. Just click here to access the calculator.

While long-term health care is expensive, the costs vary depending on where you live and the type of services you require. The consequences of aging are real. The impact on family and finances can be life-changing. 

Be sure to work with a qualified and trusted Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the market and design an affordable and appropriate plan. Just click here and find your specialist.

Don't place your family into the role of caregiver. Give them the time to be family. Your family will have less stress in their life, and everyone will be better off.

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About the Author

Linda is a freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.

LTC News Contributor Linda Kople

Linda Kople

Contributor since October 31st, 2017

Editor's Note

The problem of long-term care is both a cash flow issue and a family issue. Preparing your family and finances for the financial costs and burdens associated with long-term health care is key to enjoying a successful future retirement.

Being prepared for the costs and burdens of aging is more than just about how you will pay for quality care services. Being prepared is about family. Your family is affected by your changing health, aging, and disability.

Simple mobility problems or even light dementia can create dependency on your family - even if they are not providing the care themselves. When you own an affordable Long-Term Care Insurance policy, you have access to your choice of quality care services, including in-home care - but it doesn't stop there.

LTC Insurance safeguards your income and assets so you can maintain your lifestyle and preserve your legacy. But, perhaps as important as anything else, Long-Term Care Insurance gives your loved ones the time to be family, reducing the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on them.

The time to obtain coverage is before retirement, ideally in your 40s or 50s, when premiums are lower, and your health is better.

Planning Tools and Resources on LTC NEWS

You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis. 

To help you plan the costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

Seek Professional Guidance

Planning for future long-term health care is too important to leave to an untrained insurance agent or financial advisor. You need a skilled and experienced specialist to guide you through the many options and differences between insurance companies. A qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will be best able to help you and your family.

Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, insurance companies' premiums vary over 100% for the same coverage, and underwriting criteria vary between insurance companies. 

A Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will work with the top companies so they can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Finding Quality Care for Mom or Dad

Start by reading our four guides -  

If they are lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea. 

Get Help in Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim

Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care. If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help.

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work, free with no obligation. 

Get help finding quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

Benefits of Reverse Mortgages 

Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.  

Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

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You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.

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Email your story idea or article: newsroom@ltcnews.com - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

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Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

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