Being an unpaid caregiver can be very emotionally straining, not to mention financially and physically as well. So why is it is stressful to be a caregiver to a loved on? Besides the obvious of watching a loved one go through that part of life of needing long term care services, being the actual caregiver for them will most likely take an emotional toll on the caregiver. They often feel sad, exhausted, frustrated and guilty. You may think to yourself "why guilty?" Well the reasons my differ, but for example a lot of unpaid caregivers have to take a lot of time out of their own time to care for their loved one. Or maybe there is guilt because the caregiver has the feeling of they just don't want to be the caregiver anymore but there is no other choice, or because the caregiver feels they can do a better job. Or guilt because they are becoming frustrated. I am sure there are many more reasons for feeling guilt. For feeling sad, frustrated and exhausted, these are just to be expected and pretty self explanatory!
Being an unpaid caregiver is typically very financially straining, it is said to be the biggest issue unpaid caregivers face. Many face the situation of having to quite their jobs, retire early, reduce their hours, call in or take a leave of absence to care for their loved one. Without saying much more you can see why financially being an unpaid caregiver and having to be responsible for a job would take its toll on someone!
Physical stress is another issue caregivers face. Physical demands of someone needing long term care are often needed, such as having to help them transfer to and from bed, lift them in and out of chairs, etc. A lot of times what will happen is when a wife is caring for her husband the physical strain will take such a toll on her that she will end up requiring long term care services herself. Women are more so then men to be impacted by caregiver stress. This is why it is said that long term care strikes women twice in their lives - first being the caregiver then being the recipient of long term care. Learn more about why caregiving and long term care is a women's issue.
Caregiver stress is not something that should be taken lightly or ignored, it can lead to serious health problems. There has been some research that shows that caregivers who take the initiative to cope with their caregiving issues are less likely to feel stressed then those who don't. Some things that caregivers can do to relieve some stress is see if there is a class nearby that teaches about caring for someone with the disease that the loved one is facing. Do some research - the internet is an endless library of information! Support groups are a great way to deal with caregiver stress.
Supporting Families Through Life ChangesProviding support to the loved one needing care can be a challenging task, especially if you are the one that is caring for them as you need support as well. There are some suggestions to help.
Classes, Support Groups for caregiversOne of the most common mistakes that new caregivers make is not taking full advantage of the resources that are out there to provide support for them. One of the best ways for a caregiver to maintain their well-being is to connect with others.