Many family members take on the role of caregiver when a loved one becomes ill or needs assistance due to changes in physical or cognitive abilities. While caregiving can be an extremely rewarding experience, it is an around the clock job. For many first-time or inexperienced family caregivers, this new role comes with great stress which can make the caregiver vulnerable to illness and burnout.
So how do you know if you’re taking on too much? As a Santa Clarita senior home care provider, we’ve found that some of the most notable signs of caregiver stress or burnout include consistent irritability, extreme weight loss or gin and excessive tiredness. If you are suffering from any of these, it’s important to manage your stress levels as long-term stress may increase your risk of experiencing health problems, which makes caring for another person a monumental task. Here are some methods for managing stress while playing the role of caregiver.
- Know Your Limits – You may have a job outside the home while trying to provide care to a loved one, and performing two jobs is an incredibly difficult task for any length of time. You may feel guilty that you can’t do everything necessary to care for someone. However, it’s important to know what help you can provide and to understand that you’ll need a break or personal time each week.
- Don’t Become Isolated – The demands of a caregiver often require long hours, and simple things like social functions, friendly chats, and visits may be forgotten for weeks or months. Socializing outside the home helps to relieve stress and allows you to interact with those outside of your caregiving situation. Many of your close friends and family can also act as a support system for you, helping you to cope with your role and the changes that your loved one is facing.
- Ask for Help When You Need It – To admit that you can’t handle all of the care on your own isn’t a sign of weakness. Seeking caregiving help when necessary helps you remain healthy and able to give the best possible care to your loved one or friend. One great option is in-home care. Care can be scheduled hourly for respite each week, and is also available on a twenty four hour or overnight basis. Also known as live-in home care in Santa Clarita, this type of care allows caregivers to take a few days or the weekend to rest and recuperate, while still having peace of mind that their loved one is in the hands of a professional and experienced caregiver.
- Get Educated and Join a Group – Local organizations often provide classes or meetings on caregiving, and it’s important to understand everything you can about the condition of the person you’re helping. Knowledge helps keep you safe, as well as ensures that your care is efficient and helpful. For caregivers who may not have time to leave the home, there are also many resources available online from caregiver forums to support groups dedicated to specific age-related topics. Reaching out to those in similar situations can also help you cope with some of the stresses of caregiving.
When caring for an aging parent or loved one, it’s important to know that you are not alone. There are many services and support systems available that can help ensure your health, as well as the health and level of care provided to your loved one. To learn more about in-home assistance, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Santa Clarita today. Our friendly Care Managers are available 24/7 to answer questions and can help you schedule a complimentary in-home consultation to further discuss care needs. Call 661-259-9914 and get the help that you need and deserve.