Did you know, as our population grows older, about 1 in 3 adults in the United States provides care to other adults as informal caregivers.
Being a caregiving can have many rewards. This being said, it can be a change and can take a little getting used to for everyone involved. It is natural to feel angry, frustrated, exhausted, alone or sad. These feelings can cause stress, which is known as caregiver stress.
Caregivers experiencing caregiver stress can be vulnerable to changes in their own health. Risk factors for caregiver stress include but are not limited to: Social isolation, having depression, financial difficulties, higher number of hours spent caregiving, lack of coping skills and difficulty solving problems and lack of choice in being a caregiver. Too much stress, especially over a long time, can harm your health.
As a caregiver, you may be so focused on your loved one that you don't realize that your own health and well-being are suffering. Watch for these signs of caregiver stress: Feeling overwhelmed or constantly worried, feeling tired often, getting too much sleep or not enough sleep, becoming easily irritated or angry, losing interest in activities you used to enjoy and feeling sad.
The emotional and physical demands involved with caregiving can strain even the most resilient person. That's why it's so important to take advantage of the many resources and tools available to help you provide care for your loved one.
To help manage caregiver stress try the following ideas. Ask for and accept help. Have a list of things people can help with. Seek social support, make an effort to stay connect to friends and family. Make time for yourself to enjoy things that are just for you.