Give Yourself Credit for CaregivingIN SEASONAL HEALTH
According to The National Women's Health Information Center, female caregivers are particularly vulnerable to stress and prone to emotional and physical health complications and employment-related problems resulting from the caregiver role.
Letting Go of GuiltCaring for another person entails a serious commitment of time and effort. On top of that, many caregivers must also juggle the responsibilities of full-time jobs and/or parenting. Add in the emotional strain of coping with the changes your loved one's condition has had on his or her outlook and behavior, and you may have a recipe for anxiety and self-neglect.
For a caregiver, feelings of depression or anger are neither extraordinary nor surprising. Many physicians refer to caregivers as "hidden patients" because of the strain many caregivers struggle with in silence.
Reaching Out for Help
Stave off stress by talking with your family doctor, friends, family members, and spiritual leaders about your feelings. Don't be afraid to seek the assistance of home-healthcare providers, adult-daycare centers, short-term nursing-home care, or assisted-living facilities.
Avail yourself of your community's care services, which may include any of the following: support groups; hospice care; senior centers; transportation; meal preparation and delivery; and cleaning or yard work services. Seek help in meeting your own needs. If you don't stay well, you won't be able to help anyone else.
| The Caregiver's Stress Test|
Caring for another person can be mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually demanding, so it's only natural that lending a helping hand may be stressful at times. Remember that the first step in providing adequate care for someone else is taking care of yourself. Most importantly, recognize when you need a break. If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, caregiving may be placing too much of a strain on you at this point in time:
If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, caregiving may be placing too much of a strain on you at this point in time:
Sources: www.familydoctor.org, www.womenshealth.gov © 2013. True North Custom Media. All Rights Reserved.