Caregiver Stress & Distress
Caring for a disabled relative really takes a lot out of you. Factors that contribute to the overall stress of caring for a loved one might include:
- Lack of time to balance caregiving with home & family.
- Lack of time to balance caregiving with work.
- Financial distress.
Many different forms of stress end up causing caregiver distress. And caregiver distress is a very serious condition. Says Tim Myers, “According to professor Peter Fataliano of the University of Washington, he has basically described caregiver distress as a condition that can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, fatigue, ulcers, severe weight gain or loss; and so it can really manifest in ways that hurt the caregiver and prevent them from doing their job of caring for their loved-one.
Myers also notes that relying on a support group of friends, family, or church groups, and taking time for yourself are good ways to de-stress. “Take a break. Whether it’s just simply taking a little bit of time to watch a favorite TV program, or read a book, or take a walk, but get away from the normal situation.”
Myers also suggests prayer, meditation, and physical exercise are good ways of coping with stress. The endorphins released from these activities helps to improve mood and decrease stress. Also, taking time to release your emotions can help. “It’s okay to cry.” Myers says.
The Role Of Home Health Services
“At this point there are approximately 10 million people who are 50-plus taking care of their parents across the country.” Myers said.
He also noted that home health services work to assist people who are trying to stay home, recognize themselves as caregivers. “A lot of people just see themselves as sons or daughters; they don’t recognize themselves as actual caregivers.”
Home health services are designed to do much more than just provide care for the patient; they are meant to help support those already giving care to their loved one. Home health is meant to supplement that care, allowing at-home caregivers to take the time they need to de-stress while granting access to professional care and advice.