What You Need To Know About Caregiver Stress
People are living longer now than ever before. But with the aging population comes other individuals that, though not specifically trained as professionals, are providing healthcare. In the United States, approximately one in three adults act as an informal healthcare provider for one or more other adults. This can lead to caregiver stress.
What Is a Caregiver?
If you provide help to an aging relative, disabled child, partner, spouse, or other person in need, you could be considered a care provider. You may not think of yourself as a caregiver, even if you are actively assisting an older adult or other family member, but you are. In order to receive the support you need, it’s important for you to recognize the role you’re playing.
The Rewards – The Stress!
There are many rewards to be found in caregiving. Particularly when older family members are concerned, however, a shift in emotions is sometimes present. It’s possible for the caregiver to end up feeling sad, alone, exhausted, frustrated, or even angry. It’s very common for caregiver stress to kick in with these situations.
Caregiver stress risk factors are as follows:
- Feeling “forced” into the caregiver role
- Difficulty solving problems
- Lack of coping skills
- High number of caregiving hours spent
- Financial difficulties
- Social isolation
- Caring for a person and living with them at the same time
- Minimal formal education
- Females tend to be more prone to caregiver stress
Are You Stressed Out?
Are you a caregiver? Are you wondering if you are suffering from caregiver stress? Here are some signs that you might be:
- Abusing prescription medications, illegal drugs, or alcohol
- Frequent physical problems, bodily pain, headaches, etc.
- Feeling sad
- No longer enjoy the activities you used to love
- Easily angered or irritated
- Unexpected weight loss or weight gain
- Not enough sleep or getting too much sleep
- Frequently feeling tired
- Constantly worrying or feeling overwhelmed
How to Deal with Caregiver Stress
The following are suggestions for dealing with the stress of being a caregiver:
- Check with your doctor. Be honest with them and let them know that you’re a caregiver. Look into recommended screenings and vaccinations.
- Establish personal health goals. Drink plenty of water, eat a healthy diet, find time to be physically active, and get enough sleep.
- Establish social support. People who can offer emotional support in a nonjudgmental manner, i.e., friends and family, are individuals that you should stay connected to.
- Support groups can be helpful. If you don’t feel comfortable getting support from friends and family, there are support groups out there for just about every cause.
- Stay connected. Housekeeping, meal delivery, transportation, and other caregiving services may be available in your area. Use the resources your community provides.
- Be realistic. Establish a daily routine, make lists, prioritize, and remember that one step at a time is the way to go. Keep things as short and simple as possible in the beginning.
- Don’t overextend yourself or expect too much. Don’t strive to be the perfect caregiver. You can only do the best you can do.
- Don’t be too proud to accept help. If someone offers to cook for you, pick up groceries, or run an errand, put their generous offer to good use.
Making life easier for caregivers and family members everywhere is the Samsung powered Health Assist Watch. With this and other wearable health devices, heart rates, activity levels, and even stress levels can be monitored. Consider purchasing and wearing one of today’s wearable health devices for a healthier body and peace of mind.