Maybe you’re like the vast majority of an estimated 44 million family members taking care of elderly or disabled loved ones in the United States (Forbes). You had no idea just how much stress and anxiety can come along with this type of job.
Yes, it is a job.
It’s important to realize that being a family caregiver is not the same as having a basic relationship with a loved one. It is a job and should be treated as such. The pressure of providing care and support to an elderly loved one can increase over time. It can take a toll on your relationships, work life, health, and much more.
It’s easy to become negative.
Stress will begin to affect your outlook on life. The more stress you’re under, the less enjoyable life seems to be. That’s because you are constantly worried about all the issues surrounding you. You don’t have time to focus on the benefits, joys, and other wonderful things that may be happening in your life right now.
Stress can alter your perceptions.
The more stress you’re dealing with, the more likely you have different perceptions about your personal relationships, that relationship with this elderly loved one, your friendships, your work life, your finances, and even the hobbies and other areas of interest that were once important to you.
When you are dealing with a tremendous amount of stress, you may have difficulty sleeping at night. You might lie awake in the dark, staring into the past, or maybe even into the future, worried about what may happen when you’re not there with that elderly individual. Could they fall? Are they on the floor right now unable to call for help?
Suddenly, when you can’t sleep, you have a loss of focus, lower energy, and are at increased risk of developing illnesses and other health related problems.
Stress can sneak in on you.
Most of the time people don’t notice stress building in their life. This is especially true when you’re talking about caregiver stress. When you begin taking care of another person in your family you do it out of an act of love. Maybe you feel it’s your responsibility or you would feel guilty if you didn’t step up, considering you don’t live very far away from them.
At first everything seems easy, but then you begin feeling the pressure building. It starts to wrap itself around you. It tightens itself around you.
What can you do?
Instead of allowing it to sneak up on you or, if it already has, consider hiring a home care aide to help out. It’s one of the most effective ways to not just provide optimal support to that loved one, but to help you overcome the stress you feel right now.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Middleburg, VA please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.