Caregiver stress is not something family members like to talk about or admit to feeling. There is the belief that we should not feel anything but happy feelings when caring for an elderly loved one. However, feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or sad when caring for an elderly family member is a perfectly normal reaction. It does not mean you do not love your family member, and it does not mean you are a selfish or a bad person. It simply means you are human.
Caring for an elderly family member can feel overwhelming, especially if you do not feel you have much control over the situation or if the primary care of the senior falls on your shoulders. If you do not take care of your own health, then caregiver stress and burnout can lead to feelings of depression, isolation, resentment of other family members, and even take a toll on your own physical health and well-being.
It is not selfish to ask for assistance when caring for an elderly loved one. Asking for assistance will ensure that your loved one is receiving constant, positive assistance because it allows you a chance to unwind and recharge. If you feel stressed, the care you provide to your loved one will not be as good as it is when you are feeling refreshed and relaxed. Having the support of a home health service is one way to ensure your loved one always receives the best care.
How to Deal with Caregiver Stress
One of the best ways to deal with the stress of caring for a loved one is to join a support group. No one will better understand what you are going through than people who are experiencing it themselves. Ask your home health service or your loved one’s doctor for recommendations on a support group. You can also check with local churches and community centers to see if a support group meets in your area.
When caring for a loved one, it is important to know how and when to ask for help. Do not assume other family members know you need assistance. Ask if a family member can help for a few hours during the week or on the weekend. Be clear about what it is you need. Do you want someone to help with household chores or to take your elderly family member to doctor appointments? Do you want to be able to get away for a few hours? Whatever it is you need, ask clearly, so other family members can best assist you. If you are receiving the services of a home care agency, ask about increasing the time they spend with your loved one.
Finally, make taking care of your mental, emotional, a physical health a priority. If you do not feel able to do it for yourself, then do it for your loved one. If you are not in good health, then you cannot provide the best possible care to your family member.
About Guided Living Senior Home Care
Guided Living offers home health care services serving Plymouth, MA and the surrounding areas. Our mission is to assist our clients with improving quality of life, encouraging independence within their home and providing first-class care with respect, dignity, compassion and the highest ethical standards.
We have incorporated great technology into the company like our FamilyCARES portal that gives families a real time look into their loved one’s care. One of our goals is to build trust and show accountability to clients and their families through transparency.
We take care management seriously and each client has a dedicated Registered Nurse Care Manager that will supervise caregivers, perform regular in-home checks, and most importantly be available for clients and families to help navigate through tough questions and uncertainties during difficult times.
To speak with a Registered Nurse Care Manager to learn more about our services call 508-927-1213 any time.