Forget what you might have heard, caregiver stress is real. Even though you may feel obligated to care for your mother or father, that doesn’t mean that it’s a healthy thing, or something that you should continue doing if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Most people step into the role of a family caregiver without thinking about how hard it could be, or that they could end up creating more problems with their relationships, both with the person they are caring for and the other people around them.
It doesn’t begin right away, at least not in most cases. Maybe you realized that your mother was going to need some extra help around the house. You don’t live too far away, so it made sense that you could stop in every so often and check on her, or be there whenever she needed your help with something.
In the beginning, things were going along well enough. You stopped by twice a week, spent a few hours with your mother (which was nice because you had gotten into the habit of not seeing her very often, even though you lived close), and she didn’t need much.
Then, a few weeks after you started, she would call you because she couldn’t remember where she put something, like her medication, that she absolutely needed. You headed over there, going out of your way, and found it, right where she had left it and where it was supposed to be. Then she’d call when you were in bed because she couldn’t get out of bed or something else and you’d rush over there to help her with whatever she needed.
As the months passed, you found yourself missing work, missing time with your own family, and thinking that anytime the phone rang, it was going to be your mother calling you for some other non-essential ‘emergency.’ You also began to worry more about her because you could see that she was unable to retain certain information, she was forgetting more things, and she was having more trouble doing basic things around the house.
When your stress level increases and continues to do so, it’s a sign that you’re dealing with caregiver stress. When that happens, it’s time to confront it and accept just what it is. Caregiver stress is real and while you may think that what you’re doing is your duty, you may not be providing the best care for your mother. Often, a family caregiver will stress too much when they could simply hire a professional that would solve both problems.
If you have an aging loved one and are considering home care services, contact Interim HealthCare today.
Interim HealthCare is a nationwide company that is dedicated to helping seniors maintain full, independent lives where they most desire to live: in the comfort of their own homes. Call us today to find a location near you. 800-944-8888
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