Any attachment to a person or thing generates care in between. We care a lot for our loved ones and it feels rewarding but there is another lot of stress involved with caregiving.
Even the most resilient of all the people can get sheared with caregiver stress. There are cases where the caregiver suffers more than the person taken care of. If you are a caregiver, then you need to take care of yourself in order to stay well.
Who Is A Caregiver?
Do you have your grandparents? You take care of them, don’t you? You make sure that your grandparents or mom or dad take their medicines on time. Can you stay without helping your parents or anyone you love when they are in a difficult situation? Here you go, caregiver!
A caregiver is any person who helps the other person in need or in any difficult situation. Even if you are caring for an old aged person who is a family member of yours and he is suffering from some illness, there also you are acting as a caregiver. All in a line, caregivers are the one who cares for someone with an illness, injury, or disability.
There are two types of caregivers: formal or professional caregivers and informal or family caregivers. The first types of caregivers are those who take caregiving as their profession. They get paid for the service (care) they provide. Professional caregivers can go to the in-need person’s home or can show care to the person at the place where he practices his profession.
Whereas, an informal caregiver is the one who cares out of love for the sick person. They don’t charge any fee for the care they provide. Informal caregivers are 24×7 by your side and helps you in your day-to-day activities as well, such as bathing, changing clothes, eating, moving around, etc.
Caregiver Stress Syndromes
Caregiver stress syndrome is a situation which deals with mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion of the caregiver. This is the real challenge for a caregiver as they are prone to emotional, mental, and health misbalance. Some of the reasons that can cause stress in caregivers are
- Neglecting their own mental and physical health because they are more focused on the other person’s betterment.
- Fear of losing the person you care for.
Caregiver stress affects the caregivers’ health in the short as well as long term. The person providing care can suffer from a lifetime difficulty that is mainly related to the mental status of the caregiver. Most likely issues are depression, fear, isolation from other people.
Caregiver Burnout Symptoms
To know if you are a prey of caregiver stress here are some caregiver burnout symptoms that you can check for yourself. There are a lot of signs that indicate the formation of stress inside a caregiver. For instance, you may feel angry and frustrated for a minute, then just the other minute you may feel completely helpless.
A feeling of restlessness gets generated. You may struggle with giving proper medication to the person you are taking care of. You may also adopt unhealthy behaviors like smoking and drinking alcohol to cope up with the situation. Some other caregiver burnout symptoms and signs are
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling alone, isolated, or deserted by others
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Gaining or losing a lot of weight
- Feeling tired most of the time
- Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Becoming easily irritated or angered
- Feeling worried or sad often
- Having headaches or body aches often
How to Reduce Caregiver Stress?
Coping with caregiver stress is really very necessary if you are a caregiver. This ability to cope up will not only help you but will also help the in-need person. The following are some of the ways to prevent caregiver stress.
1. Learn ways to better help your loved ones
There are many health care centers or hospitals that teaches the proper way to deal with an ill, injured, or disabled person. To get the best result from the in-need person you should learn these ways and work together with the one you are helping. To get information about the classes, you can contact your doctor or your local area agency on aging.
2. Find caregiving resources in your community to help you
There are a lot of communities that provide adult day care or respite services. You can get the help of these to get yourself some space away from caregiving. These organizations are mainly to reduce the load over caregivers in person.
3. Ask for and accept help
Be willing to ask for help if you feel that asking so would benefit you as well as your help needed person. Also, be okay to accept help from the person who is willing to do so. Make a list of different help that you feel you require and make a move on that. For example, ask a person you trust to sit with the person you care for until you do an errand. Or ask someone to get your shopping done!
4. Keep yourself organized
Make a to-do list and follow them routinely.
5. Give time to yourself
It is very essential that you take your own time. Until and unless you are not good, you cannot help any person to recover to an okay situation. To help others, it is a must to help yourself. Stay in touch with your friends and family, and keep doing things that you love the most. Refresh your mind on a daily basis.
6. Take good care of your health
To stay away from caregiver stress syndrome, keep yourself healthy and active. Try to stay happy and eat sumptuous, healthy food. Do physical workouts and get good hours of sleep.
You should never ever think that you can keep the other person happy even if you are not healthy. If you do so, you are no less than a hypocrite. Keep yourself out of stress to keep the other person in a healthy mood.
Also read: The Seed Of Forgiveness