How often are you acutely aware of the stress you are experiencing on any given day? Most of us have a pretty good idea of what type of stress we’re dealing with. We even know the source of many stressors in our life. Yet, as a caregiver, especially a family caregiver, you might not be as aware of what this type of job is doing to your personal life, health, and maybe even your relationships.
It is incredibly important to be aware of what stress is doing and how it is affecting your life, whether you’re a caregiver or not. April is Stress Awareness Month and the more aware you are about these challenges, the more likely you can make a reasoned and better choice for the future.
How could being a family caregiver cause stress?
Most people take on this incredibly important job and responsibility out of a sense of duty. They think it’s their job. Yet, they don’t necessarily treat it as a job.
In the beginning, it might be about helping your elderly mother with a few things every once in a while. Perhaps you’re supporting a sibling who is struggling after major surgery or injuries sustained in an accident.
It is a kind gesture, but what happens when the amount of time you devote to this individual increases? Maybe your mother calls on you every day, needing help to get something down from a cabinet, to change the laundry over, to go to the store and pick up a few groceries, and so on.
You don’t want to say no. Even though you try to fit things in on your schedule, eventually you start to wonder, “Is she safe?”
That’s when stress starts to increase. You are losing control of your life. You are feeling the pressure of being the primary caregiver for this individual, making sure he or she is safe, has what they need, and still take care of everything else you have going on in your life.
What’s the solution?
The solution is actually quite simple. Home care. You may not have thought about home care to look after this aging or disabled adult family member, and it doesn’t have to be full-time.
Through a home care agency, you can depend on the support and care of experienced providers part-time, just for one or two days a week, or even full-time and around-the-clock commitments.
When you feel caregiver stress, understand just how much it is impacting you and why it is likely caused by this new reality as a caregiver.