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Easing caregiver stress

New York Teacher
As a member of a school community, you are automatically a caregiver at work. But what happens to staff members who leave work and then shoulder the many tasks of caregiving for an elderly parent, a child or an ill family member or friend?

For people in this situation, every day may feel like a tricky balancing act between time spent caregiving at home versus work responsibilities. They may feel as though they are being pulled in two different directions in a no-win situation. They may find themselves struggling in the morning to leave home because of caregiving duties and then worrying throughout the day about the situation at home.

Educators who are caregivers both at work and at home can experience levels of stress that can lead to caregiver burnout. Take the quiz to see how you score on caregiver burnout.

Take action before you reach the end of your rope! Here are tips for managing the combined stress of caregiving and work life:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help;
  • Make a list of the ways in which others can help;
  • Look for resources in your community;
  • Carve out time for your own self-care (things you like to do such as seeing friends, pursuing hobbies, etc.);
  • Make your own health a priority (eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, stay physically active, get enough sleep, practice breathing exercises);
  • Join a support group for caregivers.

The UFT’s Member Assistance Program, in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Family Support Program of NYU Langone Medical Center, is offering a free workshop on May 17 on coping with the stress of caregiving for someone who is suffering from progressive memory loss. Get more information and register.

See additional resources.

Related Topics: Your Well-being