Providing care to an aging individual, especially one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, can be a taxing and stressful situation for the caregiver. On average, most unpaid caregivers tend to be middle-aged women who devote an average of 20 hours per week to providing care for an elderly loved one who can no longer take care of himself or herself.
The emotional and physical strain of being a primary caregiver to an elderly patient can leave the caregiver in a compromised state of health. This could be emotional or physical, but the effects of either can become significant. A vast majority of caregivers or relatives of the aging individual tend to get sick more frequently, and begin to develop other health problems over time. Anxiety and fatigue are some of the most common symptoms of being overwhelmed with the responsibility of being a primary caregiver for an elderly individual.
There are a number of resources that are available that can help alleviate some of the pressure of being a caregiver for a person with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or simply the effects of aging. There are support groups in communities across the country where you can go and discuss the issues you’re facing with regard to the care you are providing your family or other individual. Talking to others about what you are going through can be a great way to not only alleviate stress but also to realize that you are not alone in the process. You may also learn different strategies that other people have developed to help alleviate some of the pressure and stress of taking care of aging loved ones.
There are also classes that are available that can help teach you better ways to cope and manage the pressures of being a caregiver. You can also learn a lot about the legal aspects that you should understand as your family member continues to age and their health deteriorates more. You can gain a great deal of insight about financial aspects and medical resources as well.
It’s also important to have a support system that can lessen some of the direct pressure that you have placed on yourself as a caregiver. If other family members are unwilling to help you physically or emotionally to take care of the aging individual, you may want to consider home care services that can provide that level of assistance when you need it.
No matter what, make sure that you take care of yourself as well so that you can protect your health and live the life that you deserve.
Care Connection provides senior care in Cascade, MI. For more information about our caregiver services, please call us today at (517) 489-2489.
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