CDHA Healthy Workplace

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1 CDHA Healthy Workplace Care for Caregivers Series: Caregiver Stress: A Portrait Presented by: Heather Rea, MSW Social Worker, SMH Team CDHA Keri-Leigh Cassidy, MD Clinical Leader, SMH Team CDHA

2 Overview What is a caregiver? (vs provider) Who is a caregiver? Are You a caregiver? Rewards, Risks, Stresses What You Can Do Resources

3 What is a Caregiver? Helping out in 1 or more ways: Personal care Helping around house Transportation/ shopping Orchestrating care Psychosocial support- visits, calls Financial/ legal affairs Living with you or you with them Caregiver vs. provider => Formal, employed Caregivers aren t unpaid because they re worthless but because they are priceless. -- quote for a member of Roundtable, Caregivers NS

4 In Canada Currently 1 in 11 Canadian seniors has a dementia The prevalence of dementia is expected to rise to nearly 1.1 million Canadians by 2038 More than 1 in 12 Canadian seniors care for another senior with a chronic condition Close to 50% of community residing seniors receive care ONLY from family members or friends (Liu et al. 2007) In 2007, Canadian caregivers are estimated to have saved the health care system $5 billion

5 In Nova Scotia We have the oldest provincial population The population will double in 20 years (from 15% to 30%) By 2033 the NS seniors population will be 257, 874 (an increase of 86% from 2007) Approximately 1000 Nova Scotians turn 65 every month 36% of Nova Scotians provide unpaid care- higher than national average Nova Scotia Caregiver Study: A Portrait of Unpaid Care in NS (2006)

6 Who is a Caregiver in NS? Nova Scotia Caregiver Study: A Portrait of Unpaid Care in NS (2006) Majority are under 65 years, married/ living with others, are permanently employed as well Majority are adult children of care recipient (seniors) not residing together NS women caregiving: more intense, frequent and stressful caregiving roles Most common caregiving: mental disorders, long term conditions, or temporarily difficult time (from:

7 Many Nova Scotian Caregivers are: Raising children Volunteering Working full or part time OR ALL THREE! Nova Scotia Caregiver Study: A Portrait of Unpaid Care in NS (2006) (from:

8 Are YOU A Caregiver? DO YOU: Care for a family member or friend at home Visit a friend or family member in a nursing home Have a child with mental or physical challenges Phone a friend/ family member regularly to check on them, make sure they take their meds or to see how they are each day

9 Recognition and Support for the Role of Caregivers Psychosocial needs and support required for caregivers in caring for seniors, should be an integral part of any health care plan The importance/ value of this group and saving health care costs are too large to ignore Caregivers also employed as careproviders in the health care system are a special group!

10 Recognize Yourself as Caregiver and Care Provider Sandwich- wrap generation! Caring for aging parents, spouse, friend, relative Caring for aging patients in an evolving health care system Self-care and stress management

11 Caregiving: Joys & Rewards New relationship with care recipient Chance to give back, show love Sense of accomplishment New skills, knowledge, inner strengths Increased compassion, growth New relationships through support groups Building memories

12 Risks of Caregiving Increased risk of stress-related illness Increased risk of substance abuse Increased risk of depression Increased risk of premature death Decreased self-care Decreased preventative healthcare

13 Sources of Caregiver Stress Emotional and physical strain Changing roles Changing relationships Competing demands Increasing isolation

14 What is Stress? Normal part of everyday life Positive stress- Short term, can enable us to rise to the occasion ; even happy events can be stressful Negative stress - Too many stressors at the same time; chronic, unrelenting stress Often think of stress as only an emotional reaction Stress is also a physical reaction to events

15 Signs of Caregiver Stress Physical Headaches; muscle tension Digestive problems; changes in eating patterns Sleep disorders Sexual difficulties Teeth grinding Obesity Diabetes Heart problems, high blood pressure Breathing problems

16 Signs of Caregiver Stress Mental & Emotional Worry, fear, anxiety Anger, irritability, guilt Depressed mood, pessimism, lack of caring Decreased concentration and disorganization Memory loss, confusion Difficulty making decisions, decreased problemsolving skills Decreased ability to be flexible Feelings of being overwhelmed

17 Signs of Caregiver Stress Behavioural Nervous habits (pacing, fidgeting, nail-biting) Smoking, drinking Crying Yelling, swearing, throwing things Blaming Giving up hobbies or interests once enjoyed, friendships and social connections (faith groups, clubs, etc.) Overeating, not exercising

18 Barriers to Accepting Help Beliefs Attitudes Lifelong patterns and habits Misconceptions Negative "self-talk Not recognizing YOU ARE A CAREGIVER!

19 The Importance of Self-Care "Even the most dedicated workers need an occasional vacation, and this is especially true of caregivers. A burnedout caregiver cannot provide quality care. D. Helen Susik, Gerontologist. Suncoast Gerontology Center, University of South Florida

20 Self-care: Things You Can Do Exercise Healthy eating Stress reduction Seek intellectual and social opportunities Stay organized, plan ahead Make a schedule to include personal priorities and responsibilities Get support as needed Go online, support groups, day programs etc.

21 Steps for Managing Stress 1) Know what condition you re dealing with 2) Build on your own general health 3) Make changes to the situation where possible 4) Change the way you view the situation consider your attitude 5) Practice relaxation techniques 6) Know your resources!

22 Managing Stress 1) Know what you re dealing with Understand the disease/ condition Plan ahead Be honest about what you can and cannot do Be aware of available programs & services

23 Managing Stress 2) Build on your general health Exercise Nutrition Rest

24 Managing Stress 3) Make changes to the situation Assertive communication Arrange practical home help Join a support group Seek professional help

25 Managing Stress 4) Change the way you view the situation The ABC theory: A Activating event B Beliefs or ideas about A C Consequence (feelings about A )

26 Managing Stress 5) Practice relaxation techniques Stretching Progressive muscle relaxation Clearing your mind Visualization Mindfulness

27 Caregiver: What You Can Do Self care: Caregivers NS Visit Alzheimer Society Website Canadian Mental Health Association Click on mental health and the family Click aging parents Information- Back of Room Seniors mental health Helping Tree Caregiver Self-Care Tips sheet Positive Aging Community Resources for families and seniors Stress Reduction workbooks

28 Upcoming Session Care for Caregivers Series Part III: Navigating the System Tuesday Dec 7 th, hrs Royal Bank Theatre

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