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Caring for Mom Felt Like a Gift at First, but the Stress Is Killing You

Caregiver Stress

Caregiver Stress

When people use these types of expressions, such as the stress of your job is killing you, it’s often viewed as hyperbole. In reality, though, prolonged stress, whether it’s the result of being a primary caregiver for an aging parent or other loved one, financial pressure, or job related issues, can actually be negatively impacting your health.

So, yes, being a primary family caregiver and dealing with tremendous stress can actually be causing you harm.

You probably didn’t expect this.

When your mother needed assistance, you probably didn’t think twice. You lived right down the street from her so why would you take care of her? All she was going to need was a little bit of help around the house every so often, right?

Even though your mother was apologetic or even adamant that she could do things on her own, eventually she began to realize the value in having you assist her. The more help she received, the more likely she would call on you for more and more help around the house.

Eventually this began impacting your daily life. If you work a full-time job you might have noticed yourself arriving late, leaving early, being distracted often, and having issues with your boss. Perhaps you use to exercise at the gym or spend some quality time with friends and you haven’t done that in a long, long time.

Most family caregivers dramatically underestimate just how much time and effort is required for this job.

Now you simply can’t find time for anything else.

You spend all of your time focused on your mother and you have given up exercise, you’re not eating very well, you’re not sleeping well at night, and it is taking a toll on you.

Remember, the average age for a family caregiver in the United States is around 49. 80 percent of family caregivers are women (Forbes). As you get older, prolonged stress can actually increase the risk of even more serious health issues that you might have to deal with.

It’s important to acknowledge the need for assistance.

Whether you need counseling, the ear of a good friend, or somebody to help take care of your elderly parent or other loved one, you need to acknowledge that. When you do, you begin to realize that home care is the best option to consider.

An experienced home care aide can give you the time off you need and also the opportunity to focus on taking care of yourself. Just that simple thing might alleviate enough stress from your life to help you avoid serious complications later.

If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Terrell, TX, please contact the caring staff at Visiting Angels. Call today: (972) 588-4534.

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William Butler

For 30 years I managed facilities. My first employer was Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman. This campus began as a 50 bed hospital. During the 12 years I worked there we added a Professional building and increased the bed count to 99 beds. We also added a Building for Trinity Valley Community College to teach nursing. My next employer was El Centro College where I started out managing a 369,374 sq. ft. college campus. Over the years we purchased an office building of 172,156 sq. ft. which we remodeled and moved our nursing program into. In addition to that I was given responsibility for 128,858 sq. ft. where we taught vocational programs. We then designed and built a 34,600 sq. ft. building as a satellite campus and finally I was given responsibility over a 37,888 sq. ft. office building for a grand total of 742,896 sq. ft.

In 2012 while still working at the college my wife of 45 years began to develop Alzheimer’s. She had always expressed the desire to remain in our home if something like this happened. I began to think of the various ways that I could fulfill her wish. After a great deal of deliberation our daughter and I decided that opening a Visiting Angels Franchise would be the best option. In August of 2013 we went to training and came home with a great deal of enthusiasm. We have been up and running for close to two years now and we have helped so many people that have the same desire as my wife. They have many different stories but they all have one thing in common they want to spend their last days in familiar surroundings with the memories of a life time.

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