There’s no question that it’s an incredible honor to care for people we love. Family caregivers experience a closeness and bond with those in their care that usually far outweighs the difficulties. However, there are challenges. A perpetual to-do list to be sure the senior loved one you’re providing care for is as happy and healthy as possible. Household chores and errands to manage. Job obligations. The requirements of other members of the family and friends. And don’t overlook self-care.
The result is an often daunting degree of stress, that if left uncontrolled, can quickly become caregiver burnout and even depression, which could appear in any or each of the following ways:
- Feelings of anger, unhappiness, despair, stress
- Difficulty with falling or staying asleep during the night
- Lack of interest in previously-enjoyed activities
- Eating more or significantly less than usual
- Delayed thinking
- And if left untreated, suicidal thoughts or even attempts at suicide
This brief online evaluation will allow you to determine whether you might be suffering from depression.
The good news is, there are a number of easy steps you are able to take to lower your potential for falling into depression:
- To start, make an appointment with your health care provider for help
- Refrain from isolating yourself and ensure lots of opportunities for socialization apart from your caregiving relationship
- Remain active, both physically and mentally, with activities you love: swimming, playing a sport, reading, volunteering with a cause that is important to you
While it could be challenging for family caregivers to carve out the time essential for self-care, it’s vitally important to the health of both the caregivers themselves and the seniors in their care. Lots of times, family relations feel as if they should do it all on their own – after all, they understand the older adult much better than anyone else, and quite often it just seems easier to manage things independently.
An overly stressed, burned out, or depressed caregiver requires dependable, reliable support – and the great news is, it is easily obtainable! A knowledgeable, home caregiver can provide as much or as little care support as needed. Perhaps, for instance, you’d like to continue to make all of the meals for your senior loved one – but would love some help with tidying up the kitchen afterwards. Or perhaps your senior loved one would feel more comfortable with a professional caregiver providing help with personal care needs, for example, bathing and assistance in the restroom.
At Generations at Home, we appreciate how complicated life can feel for family caregivers, and we work with families to develop a plan of care that meets each person’s individual needs and desires. Let us help with trustworthy, professional respite care. Reach out to us at 727-940-3414 any time for additional information.