When Caregiving Gets to be Too Much
It’s not always easy to recognize when you’re becoming overwhelmed by a certain job, responsibility, or issue in your life. It could be something that begins relatively small at first and builds over time. As a caregiver for an elderly family member, you may have a number of other responsibilities in life.
You may be working a full-time job, raising children, volunteering throughout the community, spending time with friends once or twice a week, or taking care of other individuals as well. Those all require dedication and devotion, and they also require time.
When you begin feeling overwhelmed by the job of being a caregiver, it can certainly lead to an incredible amount of stress in your life. Caregiver stress affects millions of people throughout the United States every year. According to the AARP, there are an estimated 44 million family caregivers working in this country right now. The vast majority of those individuals are not receiving any financial compensation for their work. They are simply taking care of aging parents, grandparents, and other loved ones because they either don’t see any other option or are not aware of them.
Being overwhelmed by the job at hand can lower the quality of care you provide. For most people, they honestly want what’s best for their elderly loved one. They want to be there as much as possible, but when you have so many other responsibilities to take care of, it’s going to erode the quality of care you provide. It’s also going to negatively impact the rest of your life as well.
How can being a caregiver for a loved one negatively impact the senior?
If you feel an incredible amount of stress and anxiety because you have so many other responsibilities in life, you might not be able to spend as much time with the senior as he or she requires. Instead of spending two hours with him after work helping him prepare a meal and sitting down to eat dinner with him, you find yourself stopping by for 20 minutes or so just to make sure he hasn’t fallen or doesn’t need anything. The senior could be spending every day alone except for those 20 minutes. This doesn’t provide the kind of support he or she really needs.
Being overwhelmed will also have a direct impact on your own life. It could force you to give up things that are important to you. There’s no reason for yourself or the senior to have these issues, especially when you can hire a professional caregiver through an agency in the area.