Care For the Caregiver

Posted on April 24, 2012


Nearly half (53%) of all informal caregivers reporting a decline of health
affecting their ability to provide care.
 In an effort to be there for the health
of a loved one, many caregivers sacrifice their own health

Caring for an aging loved one can be a challenging experience. It can be difficult to
slowly watch a family member lose their independence and often, their mental
capacities. More often than not it is a middle aged family member who takes on
the responsibility of being the primary caregiver for their parents. Without
additional support, this caregiver can quickly find themselves overwhelmed and
depressed. While many caregivers find themselves up for the challenge, others
may find it more difficult to adjust to the constant demand of being a home
care provider.

Stress and depression can come in many forms. Often, caregivers have to take a leave of absence from work, or they have to cut back their hours to be at home more often. As a result, both parties have to sacrifice and do without. The
loss of monthly capital can lead to stress as it becomes harder to pay the
monthly bills. Additionally, the loss of personal interactions with colleagues
in the workplace can leave a caregiver feeling lonely and isolated. Managing
one’s family can also be difficult and being a caregiver can also lead to
stress in the marriage and immediate family. To avoid sacrificing one’s health
and family for the care of a family member, a caregiver must provide care for
themselves first so they may be able to care for another

There are various ways for a caregiver to stay positive during the time they spend caring for someone. Rather than feeling trapped, a caregiver should do their best to encourage social interactions for both themselves and their aging parents or patients. Dinner socials, poker/bridge nights, and birthday parties should all be encouraged to maintain a festive attitude throughout the home, and to avoid it from feeling like a prison. Maintaining a clean home can help keep good spirits and inviting visitors will
give you a good reason to clean and to stay positive. The caregiver should also make an effort to invite their family to these events to help maintain closeness and to promote family interaction during this time of change.

While maintaining social interactions can help a caregiver stay healthy, many others find success by turning inwards and focusing the time on improving themselves. Some may choose to take up a hobby or learn a new skill, while
others may choose to begin an exercise regimen to improve their own health.
This can be light to moderate exercise; just enough to get your blood pumping.
Feel free to invite your aging family member to also get moving as much is
safely possible. Regardless of age, most seniors can benefit from staying


Submitted by Gabriela F. Brown, CSA
Owner, Constant Companions Home Care
gbrown@constantcompanions.netPhone and Fax: 888.883.8393

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