Caring for a family member can be a rewarding experience, but in the thick of each day, it can also be challenging, and frustrating, and can lead to serious burnout. Studies have shown that 51% of caregivers feel their role has given them purpose or meaning but that these positive emotions coexist with negative feelings of stress and strain. Family caregivers are nobly handling tasks of elderly assistance and it can feel overwhelming to be the constant go-to person.
As your fellow provider of senior service, we recognize how your active role in caring for your loved one is essential to their overall well-being and health. However, we also acknowledge, and you will most likely agree with this, that it’s not a smooth-sailing road when you care for the needs of a loved one by yourself or coordinate with other family members for care. That’s why we’re your resource. Respite care can provide instant relief, knowing that your loved one is cared for by a trained caregiver, and provide you with some instant time off to manage your own life.
Here are caregiving scenarios that may resonate. In these instances, it is very clear that taking on the care of a loved one can be a huge task and it may lessen the burden to have more than one person for the job.
Many caregiving needs at home happen suddenly. The aging parent gets ill unexpectedly. Injuries happen without anyone wanting them to take place. Family caregivers are both faced with the challenge of overcoming emotional issues while caring for their loved ones at the same time. Sometimes, when no other family member can assist, you will have to sacrifice your personal time and resources. Studies show that 1 in 3 caregivers of adults is providing care completely alone with no help from anyone else.
Of course, you will do everything for your beloved family member. But sometimes, being entrusted with a loved one’s care can put you on the spot that you’re unprepared for. While you can learn things eventually, the initial feelings of being at a loss are real and can be emotionally draining.
Feeling Stressed about Other Care Responsibilities
When your family member needs extra care, such as with elderly parents or sick family loved ones, they will come first in your other care responsibilities. Sometimes, this realization can be overwhelming as you can only get your hands full. Studies have exemplified that 1 in 4 caregivers feel that their personal health has gotten worse due to caregiving and 50% feel more alone.
Feeling Guilty about Needing a Break
We know you don’t want to feel this way, but the guilt feelings do come out mostly during unexpected moments. We want you to know that the feeling of wanting to get a break is normal and valid. As caregivers ourselves, we recognize that every person can only do as much in any given situation.
Tips to Manage These Feelings
Unfortunately, a lot of caregiving is inevitable and we must look at it as a challenge to be accepted rather than a burden to weigh on us. Here are some quick tips to help navigate through some of the hard emotions of providing elderly assistance to a loved one:
- Do one thing at a time
- Talk a walk
- Share your feelings through writing or conversation
- Schedule breaks and respite care
- Give yourself the credit you deserve
- Focus on a hobby
- Stick to a schedule
- Ask for help or find a support group
- Prioritize your own health
- Accept help
- Watch for signs of depression
The demands of family caregiving can be exhausting. Even those who are extremely devoted to caring for their loved ones need time off from the demands of caregiving and some time to care for themselves. Sons and daughters looking after parents from a distance have their own families, careers, and lives to attend to. They may find that there simply are not enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done. Elderly couples caring for each other may have limited resources to attend to the physical demands of caregiving, placing stress on their own health and well-being. So thank that special person in your life on National Caregivers Day for making a difference.
Improve more lives. That’s our motto and we’re here to help! Contact us for more information on Respite Care.