When you become the caregiver of a loved one, many conflicting emotions will surface. You may feel scared, unsure, angry or depressed. It’s important to let yourself experience these feelings without guilt. Caregiving is extremely challenging and should not be a decision you take lightly.
The Everyday Challenges Faced by Caregivers
On a daily basis, caregivers run the gamut of tasks. These can include taking your loved one to the bathroom, to doctor’s appointments, administering medication and preparing meals. While no one becomes a caregiver for recognition, the lack of appreciation can wear on you.
1) Loss of Privacy
Moving an elderly family member into your home often leads to a lack of privacy. This is especially true if the live-in loved one is living with dementia. A symptom of dementia is disinhibition, which is the loss of social appropriateness. This means that it’s more common for a person with dementia to barge into bathrooms, or enter a room without proper attire. You may need to install locks, or add an addition to your home to provide a healthy separation.
2) Time Management
Taking care of another person can easily become a full time job, even if you already have one! Caregivers often find themselves forced to sacrifice at work to meet the demands at home. The sentiment that there’s not enough time in the day is echoed through the caregiving community. Juggling family, work, outside obligations and caregiving may seem like an impossible feat.
3) Stress and Depression
Caregivers spend much of their free time assisting their loved ones. While that can be deeply rewarding, it also leaves you vulnerable to stress and depression. Caregivers give so much of themselves that at times it can seem like there’s nothing left to give.
4) Financial Difficulties
The financial burden of caregiving is a source of stress for many families. Sacrificing financial stability in order to stay home and care for your loved one can put you at a huge disadvantage. Thinking about the financial strain of caregiving may induce feelings of guilt, but it’s a practical issue and one that can cause big problems in the future. Before committing to anything, look into government and nonprofit programs aimed at helping caregivers.
Caregiving is exhausting work. When the sleep of your elderly loved one is disrupted, a ripple effect is felt by everyone in the home. This lack of sleep can then affect the caregiver’s mental and physical health. Assuming the full burden of a loved one means caring for their every need in addition to your own needs and those of your family. The eventual result is extreme fatigue.
6) Lack of Support
Family caregivers often lack support networks or the time to access those support networks. The needs of family caregivers frequently go unnoticed, with much of the focus going to the care recipient. As a result the caregiver can begin to feel isolated, overwhelmed and lost.
Caregivers are so busy caring for others that their own health and wellness is often neglected. The demands on a caregiver can become overwhelming, leading to burnout. It’s important to remember that if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to adequately care for others.
A Loving Alternative
Caregiving can become frustrating, tiring and lonely. It’s important to recognize these feelings and talk to someone about coping strategies. Caregiving is not ideal for everyone, and many elderly care recipients need more care and expertise than you can offer. There is no shame in reaching out for help. An assisted living cottage offers the benefits of a home environment with the care of a full-time staff.
If your loved one needs a better alternative to home care, Contact Us today.