Are Your Family Relationships Falling Victim to Caregiver Stress?
— December 11th, 2018
Caring for a family member is an act of love, but it’s also one of the most stressful jobs you can take on.
If you’re a family caregiver, it’s important to understand the signs of caregiver stress. You need to make sure that your health, emotional well-being, and relationships do not fall victim to that stress. Make sure you’re always taking time to focus on yourself.
The Facts About Family Caregivers
With 34.2 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S., you’re one of a large group. Family caregivers tend to spend about half of the month cooking meals, doing laundry, cleaning the home, offering medication reminders, and shopping for groceries and household necessities. Each month caregivers spend about a week helping with personal care, grooming, and ambulation. Another day of each month is spent looking up information, handling household finances, and arranging appointments.
It’s a lot of work. It’s no wonder so many caregivers do suffer from caregiver stress. Almost 3 out of 10 caregivers say they feel that their quality of life suffers because of the care they provide. The Family Caregiver Alliance reports that depression, self-acceptance, and happiness are all common problems with caregiving. This can strain friendships and family relationships.
You Have to Focus on Yourself First
Self-care is essential when you’re caring for your parents. You need to schedule what some therapists call “me time.” This means you take an hour or two each day to do things you like to do. If daily “me time” isn’t possible. You need to aim for at least every few days. During that hour, shut yourself off in a room and read a book, watch your favorite show, or take a relaxing bubble bath.
Make sure you’re not skipping your own healthcare needs. The Family Care Alliance found that women who were caregivers to someone had a six times higher risk of having anxiety and depression. About 2 out of 10 female caregivers were skipping mammograms to focus on care. About 66 percent were skipping annual physicals and eye exams.
You can’t let that happen. If you’re not healthy, you can’t provide the care your parent needs. It’s best to take an afternoon off and go see a doctor each year.
Have You Discovered Respite Care?
Respite care is one of the most important things family caregivers can arrange. Have you heard about it? Caregivers come to your parent’s home and take over while you take a few hours or a day off. Caregivers can also offer respite care to enable you to take a vacation.
It’s easy to arrange. Let an agency know what you need. You might want a weekly break or coverage while you go away for a few days. They will work with you to find the right caregiver for your parents’ needs. Call a home care agency to discuss respite care pricing and to schedule services now.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Toronto, please contact the caring staff at Geri Health Home Care today. Call us at 416-431-6266. Serving Greater Toronto Area, Markham, Richmond Hill, and Vaughan.