Being a caregiver to an older adult can be incredibly rewarding.
It’s a wonderful thing to know you’re improving the life of someone you care about. That’s not to say it’s an easy job, though. In truth, caregiving can be one of the hardest responsibilities you’ll ever take on. Unfortunately, for some, being a caregiver leads to physical and emotional illness. That’s because caregivers have a tendency to neglect their own health. When that happens, it can cause them to be unable to provide the best possible care to the older adult.
Negative Effects of Being a Caregiver
-Family caregivers are at a greater risk of developing depression than the general public. The up and down emotions of the role are to blame. They can cause caregivers to abuse substances like tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.
-Caregivers may also suffer from caregiver stress, a condition caused by the demands of taking care of someone else. Often, they have little time for themselves or to take care of other responsibilities, like work and family. This can cause excessive amounts of stress that may make them physically ill.
-In addition to the emotional impact, caregivers may also have health problems caused by ignoring their own needs because they are too busy with those of the older adult. They may stop going to regular medical and dental appointments. They frequently don’t eat well because it’s quicker and easier to grab unhealthy convenience foods. As a result, caregivers may catch illnesses more easily or develop serious health problems.
Ways to Combat Health Problems Due to Caregiving
Fortunately, there are many ways you can take control of your health and improve it. Some things you can do are:
- See a Doctor: If you’re experiencing health problems or if you haven’t been to a doctor in a while, make an appointment. Tell the doctor about your role as a caregiver so that they can help you to manage the specific problems that caregiving can cause.
- Join a Support Group: Caregiver support groups are a valuable way to take care of your emotional health. They provide a safe place to vent your feelings and can help you feel less alone.
- Ask for Help: Talk to family members and friends about what you are going through and ask if they can help with the older adult’s care. If they cannot, consider contacting a home care agency to take on some of the responsibility.
When you take care of yourself, you will be a more effective and patient caregiver for your loved one. If you’re feeling depressed, stressed, or physically ill, take steps today to protect your own health and wellbeing.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in New Hyde Park, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005
Dorothy’s core expertise includes an extensive background of more than 38 years, focusing on Home Care, Senior Care and operating a successful in-home care agency.
In her spare time she enjoys her 5 grandchildren, gardening, skiing and competition 8-Ball.
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