The responsibility of caring for an aging loved one can weigh heavily on a family member. Often times, these caregivers hold full-time jobs on top of the full-time obligation that comes with providing support to those who can no longer care for themselves. And as many know, this type of situation can produce a large amount of stress. No matter the factors, stress is a powerful force that can wreak havoc on the body and mind if not tended to properly. Although it may sound implausible, taking a break from caregiving is essential to alleviate growing strains on a person’s health and well-being.
There are several indicators to be wary of when stress is taking over. The following signs, provided by AgingCare.com, must be taken seriously:
- Depression. Symptoms include constant sadness, feelings of hopelessness and increased crying.
- Withdrawal. This can occur if you are depressed. You may not wish to see family and friends. You may stop taking part in things you used to enjoy.
- Anxiety. You may feel anxious to get things done or you may feel that you don’t have enough time, or about facing another day and what the future holds.
- Anger. You may start yelling at your loved one more, or have difficulty controlling your temper with other people. Caregivers often become angry at their loved one because they are sacrificing their own lives to care for them. Feeling angry at family members for not helping is also common.
- Loss of concentration. You are constantly thinking about your loved one and everything that you need to do. As a result, you have difficulty concentrating at home or at work.
- Changes in eating habits. This results in weight gain or loss, as well as increased illness.
- Insomnia. You may feel tired, but cannot sleep. Or, you may not feel tired even if your body is tired. You also may wake up in the middle of the night or have nightmares and stressful dreams.
- Exhaustion. If you frequently wake up feeling you can’t get out of bed despite a good night’s sleep, you’re in distress.
- Drinking or smoking. You may find that you are drinking or smoking more. Or, you start drinking or smoking when you haven’t in the past.
- Health problems. You may catch colds or the flu more often than usual. This is particularly common in caregivers who do not take care of themselves, by not eating properly and exercising.
Freedom Home Care understands that family caregivers are often emotionally taxed due to a loss of much-needed sleep and personal time. And this is why we offer temporary services to those who make the important choice of taking a break. By providing respite care, caregivers can take vacations or at the very least, a day off, knowing that our caregivers are giving their loved ones the support that they need.
Therefore, if stress is taking its toll in any of the forms shown above, please do not hesitate to contact us at Freedom Home Care. You owe it to yourself and to the aging loved one in your life.