As the general population ages, more and more people are becoming family caregivers to older adults. Approximately one in every three adults in the United States is currently a caregiver. A caregiver is any person that helps someone else with daily activities. While being a caregiver certainly has its rewards, it also has its challenges. Many caregivers find themselves living with chronic stress. Some of them don’t recognize it, though, which keeps them from getting the help they need.
Signs of Caregiver Stress
Caregiver stress can cause both physical and mental symptoms. Some signs that you are suffering from caregiver stress are:
- Constant Worry: You may find yourself thinking about your older family member’s health, finances, or how you’re going to complete everything that needs to be done. People with caregiver stress tend to worry all the time.
- Fatigue: Being stressed all the time can leave you feeling drained and tired frequently.
- Sleep Changes: You might have trouble sleeping or you may sleep much more than you need to.
- Weight Changes: Stress can make you eat for comfort, causing you to gain weight. However, it can also make you lose your appetite, so you may lose weight without meaning to.
- Problems with Mood: Caregiver stress can cause you to feel sad all the time. You may also be irritable and get angry easily.
- Aches and Pains: Stress can cause you to feel pain for no apparent reason. You may also suffer from frequent headaches.
- Substance Abuse: People suffering from caregiver stress sometimes turn to drugs or alcohol to try to make themselves feel better, which can lead to dangerous addictions.
What You Can Do to Relieve Caregiver Stress
There are many ways you can prevent and relieve caregiver stress. Some things that may help are:
-Talk to Your Doctor: Tell your doctor how you are feeling and be honest about your emotional state. A doctor can refer you to a counselor or prescribe medications to treat symptoms of anxiety or depression.
-Get Help with Caregiver Duties: Be honest with family and friends about your need for help covering caregiver responsibilities. Ask them to take on some of the tasks so that you can take a break.
-Take Care of Yourself: Eating a balanced diet, exercising, and getting enough rest can ease some of your stress. You’ll feel more in control of your life when you take charge of your own health. In addition, exercise is an excellent way to burn off some stress.
Another way to relieve caregiver stress is to hire home care to cover some of the hours you currently spend with your aging relative. A home care provider can stay with the older adult while you take time for yourself. While watching over your loved one, the home care provider can also help with tasks like keeping the house clean, cooking meals, and doing laundry, which means you’ll have less to do when you return.
If you or someone you know needs Home Care in Granite Falls, MN, contact Adara Home Health Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.