Chatham Home Care Concerns: Who Is Caring for the Caregiver?

August 3, 2016

Caregivers are so busy providing home care for their loved ones that they often lose a sense of themselves in the process and forget to do the things that are beneficial to them. Over 65 million people or 30% of the US population currently take care of a chronically ill, disabled or aging family member. Many spend an average of 20 hours per week caring for a loved one including: shopping, errands, appointments, bathing, feeding and grooming. All of this free care provided by the caregiver amounts to over $375 billion a year. Home health care can ease some of the burden when it comes to medication management, teaching and disease management as well as physical, speech and occupational therapy. These programs give the caregiver some respite, but for those without these services, it can cause problems if the caregiver doesn’t work to manage their care and stress.

Many caregivers end up being stressed out, frustrated and often dealing with their own health issues particularly if they are a spouse. Caregiving can be rewarding, but can also cause high stress as the amount of energy drains if the caregiver doesn’t put their own health and well being first. Stress varies from person to person. Some chronic signs of stress are anger, body aches, recurring colds, trouble sleeping, fatigue, exhaustion, over-reacting and frequent headaches. These issues can lead to more serious problems like heart disease or depression. Sadness and a sense of burden are also frequently cited among caregivers.

It is important to relax and enjoy some time alone or with friends so that you are not shouldering the burden alone. One important tool is staying organized. Write down medications and appointments on a calendar so you will stay on schedule and avoid stress. Don’t be afraid to ask for help for tasks such as driving to an appointment, cooking a meal or managing finances. Take some time to do something you enjoy from taking a walk to reading a book. Lastly, practice a positive attitude. It can make a big difference. Do remember that caregivers need care too and it is important for your physical and mental health as well.
If you need an in home care giver for your elderly loved one in Chapel Hill or Durham, we can help. Care givers are screened and go through rigorous background checks.

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