A caregiver is someone who provides care and helps someone who needs help. It’s a noble mission. Some make a career out of it while others do it for love.
There are several types of caregivers. A family caregiver is often a relative who cares for an elderly or sick loved one at home. They volunteer their time but are not paid. A professional caregiver is someone hired to give medical or non-medical care. They can work in a home or in senior living communities.
A caregiver is prone to stress and can experience health issues. It doesn’t matter if they’re taking care of a loved one or it’s part of their job. Are you thinking of becoming a caregiver? Here are some facts about caregiver stress and health you should know.
What Causes Caregiver Stress?
Caring for someone is a rewarding experience. For many people, being able to care for an ailing parent is a major part of their core value. For others, they get the satisfaction of being able to help their fellow man. But the job is not an easy one. It can be exhausting and frustrating. You will experience sadness and anger.
Caregiver stress is common because of the pressures they face. Here are some of their top stressors:
· Change in Roles: You see this when a child cares for an elderly or ailing parent or spouse. It’s hard to see someone you always considered to be strong to now need your help. It’s even more painful when caring for a parent who now depends on you for basic needs like bathing or eating.
· Uncertainty or Fear of an Illness: Taking care of someone sick is a difficult thing. It causes you to fear for their future. And fear is paralyzing. It’s easy to become overwhelming because you’re uncertain of what to do next.
· Financial Costs: Many family caregivers are also working. They have to balance this with caring for their loved ones. Their finances might not be enough to cover medical bills and daily expenses. Many are even forced to give up their jobs.
· Constant Demands: Caregivers often find themselves giving all their time to their patients. The feeling of always being “on-call” can be taxing on a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health.
· Feelings of Isolation: Caring for someone 24/7 can also lead to feeling isolated. Some caregivers can’t leave their loved ones alone because it’s not safe. There are also patients who are demanding or get lonely when left alone. This makes it difficult for the caregiver to have time for themselves. They often have difficulties connecting with others. Some won’t even have time to exercise or do things that can relieve their stress.
· Burn-Out: This is the reason why the senior housing management demands their staff to go on leave. Professional caregivers do so after several months of work. It’s a tiring and demanding job. You will be seeing people at their worst and most vulnerable. It’s even worse for family caregivers. They feel guilt when they think they’re not taking good care of their loved ones.
What are the Signs of Caregiver Stress?
It’s not unusual for caregivers to focus on their patients. That’s expected of them. Sometimes they don’t realize their stress levels are high. They also don’t notice their health is already suffering. Caregivers should watch out for these signs:
· Feeling overwhelmed or anxious
· Sleeping too much or too little
· Unexplained weight gain or loss
· Easy to anger
· Headaches, body pains, and other physical ailments
· Sadness or depression
· Alcohol or drug abuse
Best Ways on Reducing Stress and Keeping Healthy
Even the most well-adjusted individual feels the effect of the demands of caregiving. Caregivers are even more susceptible to stress because they don’t get enough sleep or rest. They can’t get regular exercise and eating a balanced diet can be a challenge. It’s why it’s important for them to use all the tools and resources they have at their disposal.
Here are some of the best ways to manage caregiver stress:
· Don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help. You can’t take care of a loved one alone. You’re not the only one who loves them. Ask your family to help, whether through funding or by looking after them. Don’t be afraid to accept the help offered by friends, neighbors, and other people either. Professional caregivers work with a team, a family caregiver should too.
· Maintain your relationships with others. It’s vital that you stay connected with others. Support from your family is important. But you should also reach out to others who are in a similar situation. They can give you invaluable support. They understand what you’re experiencing and vice versa. You should also consider joining online support groups. You can also reach out to elder care consultants for advice.
· Take care of yourself. It’s easier said than done. But every caregiver must make the effort to keep themselves healthy. Self-care is important. You won’t be able to take care of others if you don’t focus on yourself first. Make sure you eat well and get enough rest. Go exercise or indulge in a hobby. Ask for professional help if needed. Do whatever is necessary to prevent burnout.
Did you find the article informative? You should also read this post on What Caregivers Need to Know about assisted living.
Get the Help You Need
No one comes close to Apricus Senior Living when it comes to eldercare. We have made it our mission to provide you with everything you need to build a senior community. Our 25 years in the business have honed our expertise in senior living construction. We also specialize in management. We also have experienced consultants who can guide you. You can call us at 386-256-2015. You can also drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.