There’s no question that providing at-home care for an elderly parent is stressful. Yet when we focus so intently on the needs of another, we often fail to recognize how this stress is manifesting itself in our lives. Here are a handful of key signs of caregiver stress that can affect both mental and physical health.
Feeling Overwhelmed or Constantly Worried
Caregiving disrupts everyday life in many ways. Taking care of your own obligations and adding the new responsibilities of caring for an aging loved one can create substantive time management challenges and concern for the loved one you’re caring for. This is also often connected to feeling tired often or sleeping too much or too little.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, you don’t have to manage everything on your own. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted senior home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
Gaining or Losing a Lot of Weight
Psychological and behavioral relationships with food are inherently complex. Food is a reward and source of comfort for some, while not eating is a form of punishment or self-denial for others. The stress of caregiving can easily exaggerate these relationships by causing caregivers to eat too much or too little. Disruptions in sleep patterns can exacerbate weight gain and loss as well.
Experiencing Aches & Pains
Mental stress easily transitions to physical stress, and it can manifest itself in many ways, from high blood pressure and headaches to diabetes and back pain. Frequent aches and pains are a sign you may not be eating right, exercising enough, or avoiding unhealthy habits.
Having a professional caregiver join your caregiving team can offer you a huge amount of relief. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Richmond, VA, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
Feeling Sad, Angry, or Irritated
Depression, anxiety, and adjustment disorders can easily manifest themselves through anger and irritation or losing interest in formerly enjoyable activities. Meditating can help you relieve caregiver-related stress and boost your mood. You can do yoga, deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, and more.
Abusing Alcohol or Drugs
To handle this stress and the signs already discussed, some caregivers turn to alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications intended for the loved ones they’re caring for, as a coping mechanism or form of relief from the stress and pressure of being family caregivers. If you notice an increasing dependency on unhealthy substances, try to take a step back and find healthier emotional outlets.
If you’re experiencing caregiver stress, consider looking for a professional caregiver who’s compassionate, reliable, and experienced in senior home care. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care. Richmond families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (804) 207-4746.