Valley Program for Aging Services provides tips for stress relief for caregivers

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 9:56 AM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - At Valley Program for Aging Services (VPAS) a main facet of the organization is providing support for caregivers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, caregivers are defined as anyone who ‘provides care to people who need some degree of ongoing assistance with everyday tasks on a regular or daily basis’. The CDC says caregivers often experience health issues like increased levels of depression and anxiety, compromised immune function, and worse self-reported physical health.

Joyce Nussbaum, the Director of Programs for VPAS says all year round and especially around the holidays, it is important for both the caregiver and the person being cared for, to take time to decompress.

“For caregivers, there are not a lot of events in our schedule throughout the day that can be changed or modified, so planning ahead on asking for help with things like buying groceries, buying gifts, decorating, or even someone taking your place so you can go out and do those things,” Nussbaum said.

Nussbaum says another focus for caregivers during the holiday season can be around relationships.

“Family caregivers care for their loved ones because they love them, so what about the holidays can add meaning to your relationship with the person you’re caring for but also how can the holidays provide an opportunity for you and your loved ones to connect with other people,” Nussbaum said.

VPAS offers various resources and programs for caregivers, you can learn more about them here.