Sometimes caregivers need a break. Taking care of an aging loved one can be one of the most precious tasks of a lifetime, but it also requires an enormous amount of energy and time. A report by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) says half of all caregivers report feeling stressed, with nearly a third rating themselves as “highly stressed.” Arista Home Care Solutions provides respite care to address caregiver stress, so you can take better care of your loved one and better care of yourself.
Causes of Caregiver Stress
Caregivers often step in after their loved one experiences a health crisis. The crisis itself is stressful, but for a time, everyone might expect care to be a short-term need. After a while, caregivers might start to feel frustrated or overwhelmed by the amount of time it takes to provide adequate support.
Here are just a few of the stressors that commonly present themselves:
If your loved one has a chronic illness, you’re constantly on alert. You have concerns about their future, and you’re not always able to evaluate their medical needs on your own. You are responsible for making decisions in situations that may be life-threatening.
If you’re caring for an aging parent, suddenly you’re providing for the physical and emotional needs of someone who in the past took care of you. The change can be a difficult adjustment for both of you.
The longer an illness continues, the more medical bills you receive. The reality of the cost of long-term care creates constant pressure.
Between taking care of your loved one and your other duties, you have little time left over for interaction with others. Most people don’t understand the constant work, the endless doctor visits, or the toll the pace takes on you. While you feel isolated from others, you also don’t have any time to yourself to recharge.
Caregivers are sometimes responsible around the clock. When you lie down to sleep, you know you’re still on call and a crisis could happen at any minute. Daily tasks like changing sheets, helping your loved one bathe, and providing food wear on your body constantly.
Signs of Caregiver Stress
How do you know if you need to plan for a break? Both your body and your emotions clue you into your overall health.
If you’re experiencing caregiver stress, you might have symptoms of depression including feelings of hopelessness or a frequent urge to cry. Your emotions might make you not feel like being around people or do the things you used to enjoy.
Constant anxiety can erode at your patience. If you find yourself having a hard time controlling your temper, either with your loved one or other family members, it could be due to long-term stress. You might experience weight gain or loss when you have less time to choose healthy eating. Long-term insomnia and stress might make you more susceptible to catching colds or the flu.
How to Stay Healthy
A respite plan can prevent caregiver burnout. When you give yourself short breaks, you get the rest and stress relief you need to provide long-term support. Arista Home Care Solutions has a wide range of respite care services, and we can help you design a plan that’s right for you.
Some people just need two hours every few days that they can count on to run errands and take a break. Others need a full day once a week or one week out of the month. We’ll help you identify both your needs and the needs of your loved one.
Don't let the responsibilities of caregiving overwhelm you.
Arista Home Care Solutions provides care for your loved one and respite care for you. Call us today at (419) 754-1897. We are here to help.