Caregiver in Dacula GACaregiver-in-Dacula-GA

Family caregivers tend to put all of their energy and time into caring for their elderly loved one, they forget to care for another important person – themselves. Some days can be filled with joy and appreciation for your elderly parent, while others may cause them to become stressed and frustrated. These feelings could lead to the caregiver becoming exhausted and ill. According to Health in Aging, 16 percent of caregivers report that they have more health problems since they began caring for their loved ones.

Not only can this role take a toll on the physical and mental health of the person providing the care, but it can also drain them financially. They are often arranging doctor appointments for the senior, but usually forget to get their own regular checkups. No matter how busy your schedule is, you must always make the time to take care of your own health before caring for the elder’s.

Causes of Health Problems

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, a caregiver spouse between the ages of 66 and 96 have a 63 percent higher chance of dying earlier than those adults who are the same age, but are not caregivers.  This fact could largely be due to the heavy responsibilities that lie on the caregiver’s shoulders. Or it could be because they have neglected their own health in order to care for someone else. Whatever the reason, there are some factors that could be causing your health issues, such as:

  • Not eating a healthy diet
  • Lack of sleep
  • Failure to exercise
  • Not resting and staying in bed when sick
  • Delaying or canceling doctor appointments

 

How to Care for Yourself

Before beginning the process of taking care of your own health needs, identify your reason for not keeping up with your own health. Do you feel guilty for taking this time for yourself? Are you hoping that all of the time put into caring for your loved one will reward you with finally getting the appreciation, love and support you have always wanted from your parent? Whatever the reason, identify it before moving on to the following self-care tips.

  • Lower stress levels. Stress can be dangerous for the body and mind. Try to remove things in your life that are causing you stress. If this is not possible, find ways to manage it. For example, meditation, praying, and exercise are all ways to reduce stress in your life.
  • Take a break. Do not feel like you have to do everything by yourself. Instead, ask for help. This could be from a close friend, a family member, or a home care provider. You will finally have a chance to recharge your batteries before returning to your caregiving role.
  • Become a great communicator. Let your loved one know how you are feeling. Be honest about your emotions, but also listen to what the elder is saying.

Caring for an aging parent can be a daunting task, and one that might be dangerous to your health. With this information and regularly seeing your doctor, you will be able to live a long, healthful life.

 

The staff at Home Care Matters is available to talk with you and your family about all of your needs. Home Care Matters is a home care agency providing quality and affordable caregiver services in Dacula, GA and the surrounding areas. Call (678) 828-2195 for more information.

 

Source:

http://www.healthinaging.org/aging-and-health-a-to-z/topic:caregiver-health/