Insightsthe blog of Porter Hills
Porter Hills Home Care
Watch the 13 on Your Side Senior Wellness segment on this topic.
According to The Family Caregiver Alliance and AARP:
- 34.2 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult over the age of 50 in the past 12 months
- 65% of care recipients are female with an avergage age of 69.4.
- 5% of caregivers are female with an average age of 49.2, which also indicates that many of these caregivers are considered to be the “sandwich generation” meaning that they are responsible for the care of their own children along with perhaps a parent or other elderly loved one.
When taking on the role of caregiver to a loved one, one of the most important things to remember is that is it common to experience caregiver stress. Taking care of a sick, injured or dying loved one can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, anger and frustration; knowing that you are not alone in these feelings can help reduce guilt associated with feeling this way. When caring for a loved one, caregiver stress not only leaves the caregiver at risk it also poses potential threats for the person who requires caregiving.
Some common signs of caregiver stress:
- Anxiety, depression, irritability
- Feeling run down and tired
- Difficulty sleeping
- New or worsening health problems for the caregiver
A few ways to decrease caregiver stress:
- Create balance for yourself, make sure that you are taking care of your own needs first
- Ask for help
- Look into resources that are available (locally, Area Agency on Aging is a tremendous resource)
- Explore alternative levels of care, whether home care services, independent living, assisted living or memory care are needed
- Seek a support group, for Dementia Caregiver support there are two great options locally at Mercy Health or Area Agency on Aging and if your loved one is living with cancer, Gilda’s Club is a tremendous resource
- Develop proactive coping strategies