If you’ve found yourself in the role of a family caregiver for an aging or disabled loved one, you’re far from alone. According to Family Caregiver Alliance’s National Center on Caregiving, a whopping 65.7 million Americans – as many as 29% of the adult population – are in your shoes, spending anywhere from 20 to almost 40 hours per week providing care at home. Trying to handle it all alone can be overwhelming, but many caregivers are hesitant to reach out for help, for a variety of reasons; but the reality is that providing constant 24/7 care without a break takes a toll on one’s body, mind and spirit and can lead to health problems and a danger of burnout. Accepting some caregiving help so you can have a break will actually allow you to better care for your loved one.
Be honest with yourself.
• Are you developing stress-related problems such as back pain, headaches, chronic feelings of fatigue, and/or depression?
• When was the last time you got a haircut? Took a shower?
• Are you missing work increasingly more often?
• Have you given up hobbies or activities that you have enjoyed for years?
• Are you coming down with colds, flu, and/or other illnesses more than usual?
• Do you have outbursts of anger at your loved one when he or she behaves erratically or becomes difficult?
• Do you experience more irritation and irrationality when responding to problems and people?
• Do you have an unshakable feeling of despair or pessimism?
• Are you crying “for no reason” or over minor problems?
• Do you complain about lack of sleep or chronic insomnia?
Why is it so important to take regular breaks from caregiving?
• Constant stress leads to health problems and irritability.
• Respite care allows for a more healthy family relationship and more personal satisfaction.
• Respite from ongoing care responsibilities ensures loved ones continue to receive the attention they deserve from a relaxed and loving care provider.
To provide the best care for your loved one requires taking care of yourself. Hillendale Home Care’s certified caregivers are compassionate, patient, and trained to help with a full range of caregiving needs, to allow you to take some much needed time to care for yourself. Call us any time at 925-933-8181, or fill out our simple contact form for a consultation.