There are a lot of positive aspects of being a caregiver. It can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment knowing that your aging relative is receiving great care. However, caregivers are also susceptible to many different problems. Being aware of possible caregiver problems and what you can do about them can help you to be prepared.
#1: Mental Health Problems
Caregivers often suffer from mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. This can be a result of seeing someone they care about suffering. It can also be caused by the stress of the caregiver load. Caregivers should talk to their doctors about how they are feeling. Seeing a counselor or joining a caregiver support group can help with treating depression and anxiety.
#2: Health Problems
Caregivers often neglect their own health because they are busy with their older family member’s needs. This leads to a greater risk for caregivers of suffering from many health conditions, including an increased risk of mortality. To avoid health problems, it’s important that caregivers see their doctors regularly and manage their own conditions.
#3: Financial Problems
Some caregivers suffer financially because of their responsibility to their older family member. Some family caregivers contribute their own money to the older adult’s bills and needs. Many caregivers also reduce the hours they work or give up working altogether, placing an additional financial burden on themselves.
The stress and work of being a caregiver can be overwhelming and wear you out. You might find yourself crying one moment and feeling angry the next. People experiencing caregiver burnout may feel like they are on an emotional rollercoaster. They might also feel just plain exhausted.
#5: Social Isolation
Caregivers often have little time to spend on themselves, which can mean they lose touch with friends and other family members. Not keeping up with the people you care about can leave you feeling alone. It can also leave you without the emotional support you need in a difficult time.
Some of the problems of being a caregiver can be remedied by finding ways to relieve some of the pressure of the job. One way to do this is to hire home care to take over some of the time you spend as a caregiver. Home care providers can assist your older family member with almost anything they need, including bathing, dressing, and eating. A home care provider can even clean the house and prepare meals.