It can take a tremendous toll on a person to care for their loved ones fulltime day in and day out while the loved one experiences declining health. If this sounds like something you are experiencing, you are one of over 65 million Americans who are serving as a family caregiver for a disabled or ill family member.
The National Alliance for Caregiving states that more than 75% of family caregivers also work while they are caregiving. Most must ask for accommodations in their workplace – such as leaving work early, arriving late, reducing their work hours, using leave of absences or feeling forced into early retirement.
Caregiving can seem like a big burden. It’s no secret that it is a weight to carry; a sweet weight perhaps. Here are some statistics that may surprise you. People who both work and provide care to elders are more likely to report poor health. They are also more likely to report greater stress at both home and work because of the dual responsibility.
How can caregiving in general be put into a better light? How can we find new and effective ways to handle it? How can it be turned from burden to opportunity? Here are some ways you can relieve the burden of caregiving while still providing caregiving.
- Spend time appreciating the rewards: a closer relationship with your loved one, personal growth, a feeling of fulfillment.
- Change your mindset. Instead of looking at caregiving as a personal drain, try to experience it as an opportunity or a growing experience.
- Have purpose in your everyday activities and remember what your purpose is.
- Embrace help from others. Say yes to all who offer it, in any form. Give loads of thanks and appreciation to everyone who helps even in their own small way.
- Seek help from professional home care agencies. Try out part-time in-home care service at first. See how well it works for you and your family. Find the happy medium for how much caregiving you give and how much they give.
- Nurture friendships and keep your social life active and alive. This is an essential survival necessity. It will keep your mental and physical well-being in good health.
- Connect with online resources such as elder411.net. This is a free service that could help you make elder care decisions. We only wish to show you there are many sources out there for your convenience that can potentially help you in your caregiver role.
- Get community support to assist you in your caregiving duties. There may be overnight or respite services or adult day care services you can access in your area.
- Join a caregiver network so you can help and support each other on your caregiver journeys.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Ridgefield, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Danbury, CT at (203) 731-2560.