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16th Aug

2016

Being A Caregiver Is A Challenge

Challenges Of Caregiving

Caregiving involves challenges, sometimes serious challenges. If you are a caregiver it is important to be aware of these potential pitfalls so that you will be better prepared to cope should difficulties arise, and be better able to recognize when you need to reach out for help.

Perhaps the most obvious obstacle faced by caregivers is the strain that is placed on their emotional health. To provide care for a loved one day in and day out, week after week, can be emotionally draining. It is tough work. The caregiver may feel unappreciated, trapped, resentful, and even guilty about feeling resentful. The amount of work involved can seem overwhelming. Many report feeling exhausted when they go to bed at night. Some experience high levels of anxiety and worry. It is not surprising, then, that 40% to 70% of caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression.

Caregiver Stress

Stress affects more than emotional health. It can also have seriously detrimental effects on physical health. It has been shown that caregivers are at greater risk for problems such as substance abuse, cancer, diabetes, coronary disease and stroke, infection and obesity.

Because stress can weaken the immune system, caregivers may spend more time recovering from colds and from the flu.
The emotional and physical burdens of providing care for a loved one are serious enough. Very often, though, there are financial challenges as well. Well over half of all caregivers in the U.S. have a paying job in addition to the time they spend providing care at home. Of these, over a half find that being a caregiver has a negative impact on their job. Many find they have to change their work schedule. Some arrive at work late; some leave early. A few end up missing a lot of work, putting job security at risk. Some find it impossible to continue working and give up their employment. The financial stresses can become unsustainable. To quote one caregiver whose husband needed round-the-clock care,

“My life revolves around his day, and I stay up most of the night worrying about where we are going to get money. You lose sleep over the financial burden”.

The Other Side Of Caregiving

It sounds awful! To look only at the hardships that caregivers might face can make caregiving seem like a nightmare. There is another side to the story, though. There is a lot of advice and support available to caregivers. If you are a caregiver you know that it is at times a very lonely path. In truth, though, you do not need to be alone. There are people who can help guide you. There are ways, strategies, for coping with the stress and so reducing the emotional and physical toll. There are also resources which can provide financial help in some cases.

We at Aberdeen Place Hospice can help. We can point you toward those resources that can support you. And, where hospice is appropriate, we can ourselves help by providing comfort for your loved one and support for you. Our number is 678.878.3440. Give us a call. We are here to listen.

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