Superior Care Home Blog

Caring for the Caregiver

Posted by Darla Sims on May 10, 2017 9:42:29 AM
Caring for someone with dementia is rewarding at times, but is often trying as well.  One of the biggest challenges you face is being able to deal with the stress and strain of being a caregiver to someone with dementia. You might feel lost at times. As the disease progresses, so do your responsibilities. Your support system of family and friends may seem to grow distant. You may find yourself growing moody and less energetic, doubting your abilities. At Superior Care Home, we can help you refocus, reenergize, avoid caregiver burnout and, most importantly, stay healthy.

THERE IS NO BLAME

Dementia is a disease. No one is responsible for your loved one’s condition, least of all you, the primary caregiver. Outside or less involved parties are free with their opinions. Listen, but don’t accept criticism from those who don’t have to meet your daily challenges.

BURNOUT AND DEPRESSION

You may feel that you’re doing things wrong, second-guessing yourself. Don’t! Feeling guilty is counterproductive and unnecessary. You might not recognize the signs that you are subconsciously blaming yourself, which can lead to depression and burnout.
  • Isolation. Are you pulling away from family, friends and social activity?
  • Unfocused at work. Are you less interested in your job and your employer notices?
  • Family neglect. Do you feel that caregiving is having a negative effect on the rest of the family?
  • Fatigue. Have your duties in life left you tired, confused and feeling helpless?
  • Weight loss, weight gain. Has there been a change in your eating habits? Is there an increase in the use of alcohol or other stimulants to get by?

TIME TO REGROUP

You are in charge of your life. Superior Care Home is your partner and is here to assist you. It’s not wrong to reach out. Every problem has a solution and together we can help you achieve balance.

Some solutions to:
  • Isolation. Take time for yourself. Ask family members to participate. Schedule time off and enjoy a dinner out with friends, a massage or go to a movie. A laugh, a conversation or even a good cry can help purge feelings of guilt.
  • Unfocused at work. Be honest with yourself and your employer. Most companies offer life assistance—use it. If you simply can’t perform efficiently in the office, see if you can work remotely, schedule some time off or ask about a leave of absence. Removing work pressures can be the answer.
  • Family neglect. It’s important that your family understands the situation. Talk about it and find solutions together. Make plans. Take a vacation. Superior Care Home can provide respite services. Relax; your loved one is safe and secure in our care.
  • Fatigue. See your doctor. He/she can assess your health and provide solutions. When you feel physically strong, negative emotions will dissipate.
  • Weight loss/weight gain. Stress might be causing you to skip meals or you might be finding solace in food, alcohol or other stimulants. Either situation needs to be remedied. Pay attention to your habits and take control back. Along with a healthy diet, add exercise to your self-care program.

All of the above, and more, can weigh you down. Right now, you may feel in control of the situation. But caregiving takes its toll. If you begin to experience feelings of burnout, depression and guilt, staff at Superior Care Home is available to help you find solutions.

Topics: Caregiving

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