When your senior family member requires some type of care in their older years, it’s common for a family to hire an in home caregiver or assign someone in the family to be a caregiver. However, being a caregiver isn’t easy. For one to become a caregiver, they need a considerable amount of empathy, energy, and patience. Not only that but it’s a time-consuming task that can make you easily burned out. If you take care of an older loved one, it’s essential to know the common problems caregivers face so you’ll be able to tackle them as soon as possible.
Caring for an elderly means you should be responsible for their health. This caregiving task can be extremely stressful. From helping them get dressed to managing their medications, the caregiver needs to juggle everything for the sake of the senior patient. If you think stress starts to consume you, take little breaks throughout the day. You can make use of at least 5 to 10 minutes short break to practice some relaxation techniques. After all, breathing exercises and meditation can help reduce your stress level. You may also get the most out of some support groups that can help you deal with so much stress.
With so many caregiving responsibilities to perform, most caregivers usually feel isolated from the outside world. That’s because of so much energy and time spent taking good care for someone else. What’s unfortunate is the fact that caring for others means they don’t have enough time to take care of themselves. Thus, if you begin feeling isolated, never hesitate to reach out to your family and friends. They might be able to offer help when you need it the most. Like stress, the feeling of isolation can be best addressed by considering a support group. Look for support groups for caregivers with the same problems as yours. Remember, it’s best to allow yourself to have “me time” so you can relax and become a better caregiver in the long run.
Deprivation Looking after for a senior person might impact your sleeping habits. In most cases, the elderly’s sleeping patterns can be affected by chronic health conditions, which cause them to wake up even in the middle of the night until they can’t go back to sleep. This situation might then lead to sleep deprivation not just for the older patient but for the caregiver, too. To avoid having severe health implications, find time to rest and sleep if you can. That way, you can continue to provide care for someone else.
4. Financial burden
If you’re a family caregiver, you might feel financially burdened by the tasks you need to do. Due to a broad scope of caregiving duties, you might find yourself foregoing educational or career opportunities. This set up might mean a limitation on your income. If you’re dealing with a financial burden as a caregiver, talk to your family and friends as they might be willing to assist you with your caregiving duties.
5. Issues with time management
While caregivers spend most of their time on caring for an older loved one, you’ll no longer have time doing other activities. For instance, your caregiving duties might limit your ability to go for vacations or enjoy your favorite hobbies. That’s because you have to pay attention to providing home care for your senior loved one.
6. Guilty feelings
Feeling guilty is common for most caregivers. As someone who is providing caregiving needs, you might think that you’re doing your best to take care of your senior patient. There’ll always be a feeling that everything you do isn’t enough to make them happy and satisfied. For family caregivers, they might be scared to ask help from professionals because for them, requiring assistance from others is an indication of weakness which means you’re letting your loved one become disappointed and down.
7. Legal issues
As a caregiver for an older loved one, you should start making legal preparations after they have been diagnosed with a serious illness. However, legal processes are sometimes complicated. You need to follow specific steps to manage your loved one’s legal and financial affairs. That’s why you need advance planning to make the transition much easier. For instance, you should start thinking about the written legal documents that will summarize your senior loved one’s decisions and wishes. If the person you’re caring is 65 years old and above, you might need to hire an attorney who handles elder law cases.
Why Does Caregiver Support Important?
It’s vital to realize that as a family caregiver or in home caregiver, you’re also doing the best you can to provide the needs of the person you’re caring for. While you’re exerting too much effort for your caregiving duties, you might begin neglecting your own well-being which can affect your emotional, mental, financial, and physical health. Due to these circumstances, caregiver support is essential. It’s one way of staying healthy while enjoying a good quality of life.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to seek professional services that will allow you to take a temporary break from your caregiving responsibilities. That way, you can attend to your own personal needs such as errands, taking a vacation or even a doctor’s visit. Also, you can participate in a caregiver support group which can be entirely beneficial for your overall health since you’ll have the chance to share your feelings with others who are going through the same experiences.
The Bottom Line
If you’re aware of the common challenges caregivers experience, you can also help yourself figure out for the signs you currently face as well. The moment you recognize the feelings of isolation, stress, financial burden and many others, be sure to take immediate action to seek help. By keeping these things in mind, you’re not only helping yourself, but you’re also helping the person you care for as well.