Doctors diagnose, Nurses heal and Caregivers make sense of it all. – Brett H Lewis
Positives of caregiving are immeasurable. Caring for a person other than us, can create positive emotional change😊. For example, caregivers report that caregiving has given them a sense of purpose. The inner peace 😇 at making a difference in the life of a valued loved one 👴👵makes them feel useful and capable.
Caregiver stress is the emotional strain of caregiving😥. It takes a toll on physical and emotional health. Research suggests that caregivers may also be more likely to have health problems like diabetes and heart disease than non-caregivers.
You can do anything but not everything – David Allen
Caregivers often end up feeling angry😤, anxious😖, isolated😩 and sad😢. Caring for another person takes a lot of time, effort, and work. Most caregivers juggle caregiving with full-time jobs 👔💼 and parenting👫 In the process, put their own needs secondary. They often find it difficult to look after their own health, exercise💪 and nutrition🍎
Caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or other kinds of dementia are specially prone to burnout. Recent Research shows that more hours dementia caregivers spent on caregiving, the greater the risk of anxiety and depression😨.
Studies say that female caregivers are more prone to emotional and physical health problems, work related problems, and monetary strain. Also research says that spousal care leads to more stress than for other family members.
Self-care is not selfish. You can’t serve from an empty vessel. – Eleanor Brownn
How to tell if caregiving is too stressful ?
Following symptoms indicate that caregiving may be putting too much strain on you:
⦁ Onset of Aches & pains erstwhile absent.😩
⦁ Sleeping disorders.😴
⦁ Feeling Energy depleted all the time.😓
⦁ Sudden weight gain or loss due to unhealthy eating habit.
⦁ Increased sensitivity in daily routine & mood swings.😖
⦁ Sudden or gradual interest loss in activities enjoyed earlier like socialising, reading, exercise etc.😢
How to prevent or relieve stress?
Take the steps to make your health a priority. Caring for yourself will help you to become a better caregiver.
⦁ Make a conscious effort to be social. Be a part of one social activity per week at least.💃
⦁ Have regular screenings. Don’t ignore any symptoms of depression or sickness you may be having.
⦁ Look for community options for care-giving.
⦁ Make time for exercise for mind and body everyday.
⦁ Don’t be shy in asking for and accepting help.
⦁ Crucial to make a list of things to do everyday and have a routine in place.
⦁ Faith-based groups can be of great support and help.🙏
⦁ Join any support group for specific illnesses found in the community or on the Internet.
⦁ Enough sleep and rest are vital.😴
⦁ Diet must include fruits, vegetables and whole grains and should be low in saturated fat.🍐🍎🍋
⦁ Take everyday as a triumph. Don’t get bogged down by weeks and months.
⦁ A multivitamin supplement can be included as per medical advice.💊
Caregivers who work outside the home should consider taking some time off. If you are feeling overwhelmed, taking a break from your job may help you get back on track. Ask your human resources office about options for leave.
What is respite care?
The care that gives the regular caregiver some time off is called respite care. Respite care gives family caregivers a much-needed break. The respite care reduces caregiver stress by giving them much-needed break. Respite care may be provided by:
⦁ Assisted living homes
⦁ Home health care workers
⦁ Short-term nursing homes
⦁ Adult day-care centers
It is essential to family caregivers to have access to respite care. It helps caregivers keep their loved ones at home for longer.
Also, We as a society should extend a helping hand to caregivers in our community as much as we can. Because, One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value, says Jim Rohn. Also in Rosalyn Carter’s words,
There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers, Those who are currently caregivers, Those who will be caregivers and those who will need a caregiver.