Becoming the caregiver for an aging parent or loved one can be both challenging and rewarding. If you are fulfilling this honorable role for a parent or elderly relative at this time, you may be under an enormous amount of stress. While many causes of caregiver stress such as physical exhaustion and financial burdens are discussed often, the following 4 reasons for caregiver stress are also important, yet aren’t always talked about.
- Loneliness – Many people associate loneliness with constantly being by oneself. However, a person can experience loneliness while in the midst of a large group of people. Family caregivers often feel lonely even though they may spend most of their time in the presence of the loved one they are caring for. A common reason for this is because their loved one is no longer able to communicate as effectively as before, and is more reliant on the caregiver’s help rather than company. Many times, caregivers feel alone on an emotional level as well, unsure of who to share their caregiving struggles with.
- Guilt – Guilt is something that many people are not comfortable talking about. Therefore, this common cause of caregiver stress probably doesn’t garner as much attention as it should receive. If you are the primary caregiver for an aged loved one, you may experience feelings of guilt when your relative has a bad day or becomes ill during your absence. You may also feel guilty about needing to quit a job or spend less time with your children or spouse in order to care for your senior loved one. It is even normal to feel guilty about not wanting to care for your loved one. Guilt comes in many forms and is considered a normal part of the caregiving process.
- A Loved One’s Personality – A senior loved one’s personality changes also cause caregiver stress. For instance, your relative may have always had a warm, gentle personality. However, your loved one’s personality might have been completely transformed due to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or another health condition. Your loved one may also feel embarrassed about their increased dependence, and take out their frustration on you, simply because you are present at all times.
- Lack of Knowledge – A lack of knowledge about a loved one’s physical or mental condition can also cause immense stress. When something goes wrong, the caregiver will blame him or herself because they weren’t equipped or prepared to handle the situation. In other instances, a caregiver’s family member may be diagnosed with an unfamiliar medical condition that causes extreme stress and uncertainty about his or her future abilities and quality of life.
If you feel that you are experiencing any sign of caregivers stress, know that you are not alone. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our highly trained caregivers provide home care North Houston families trust, offering respite for family members and high quality care for older adults. You have the freedom to choose the hourly or live-in care schedule that meets your needs, and will never be asked to sign a long-term contract. Request more information about home care from Home Care Assistance of North Houston by calling 832-412-1345 and enjoy the assistance that you and your loved one deserve.