Stress and the Family Caregiver

Stress and the Family Caregiver

Here’s an understatement – caregiving is extremely challenging. (I told you it would be an understatement!)

The days are long and filled with many ups and downs, and demands that undermine your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

Many people that find themselves in the uncharted waters of caregiving start with a positive outlook and are optimistic about their ability to juggle the myriad of responsibilities that have fallen on their shoulders, believing that they are manageable. Soon, they can find otherwise.

The fatigue and frustration can seem overwhelming and can soon take a toll manifesting in increased:

  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Overeating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Health issues
  • Insomnia
  • Social isolation

For many, the daily grind makes it exceedingly difficult to find time for any type of self-care and this can lead to eventual burnout.

Here are some suggestions on how caregivers can find some relief:

Join a support group

A group comprised of people that are walking in your shoes not only provides an outlet for the feelings of frustration, denial, and guilt that are very familiar to caregivers, but may also be a forum where best practices and strategies are openly shared and discussed.

Pay attention to your health

The stress of being a caregiver can undermine your health and so you must take steps to ensure that you stay healthy. This includes eating a nutritious diet, getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night, staying hydrated, and not relying on alcohol to help you get through the day or night. The healthier you feel, the better you will be able to handle the situation.

Communicate with friends and family

Don’t hold things inside and “go it alone.” Confide in friends and family and share what you are going through. There’s no honor in maintaining your silence and telling the people that care about you that “everything is “okay” when you could use a little TLC and support.

Hire a Home Health Agency to share the burden for at least part of the time

Home Health Companions can provide you with a much-needed break from your day-to-day responsibilities. Whether they come in for a few hours per day or take over for a full-day or more, a trained companion can provide the respite you need to maintain your own wellbeing.

Many say that caregiving is the hardest job anyone will ever do and most people come to it without training or any clarity about what is entailed. If you are a caregiver or anticipate that you will soon have that role, make certain to take care of your wellbeing and seek out the support you need to ease the burden.

Right at Home is here to help. Please connect with us for answers to your questions.

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