Opportunities and Stresses of Caregiving
Care giving can be extremely stressful mentally, physically, and emotionally. There are many responsibilities being a caregiver. There are responsibilities and needs that need to be met for the person you are caring for as well as your own responsibilities and needs. This can be very draining and can take a toll on your physical and emotional wellbeing. Caregiving is a broad term describing a wide range of support that can be as simple as helping with activities of daily living for people that are still independent and care for themselves, to helping someone bath, feed, dress and walk that are almost fully dependent and may even end up bedridden.
According to womensghealth.gov caregiver stress is defined as the emotional and physical strain of caregiving. These strains can affect you and your health in many ways, such as decreased energy levels, depression, or anxiety, stain on other relationships in the house, increased risk of drug or alcohol abuse, injury, and increased illnesses. It is important for caregivers to incorporate strategies into their daily routine that help relieve stress. Although caregiving is a challenge for some families and an issue in the larger society, it is not universal or a lengthy span for every family (Morgan & Kunkel, 2011).
AARP suggests speaking with the doctor of the person you are caring for to learn as much about the illness and how to care for that person. Don’t be afraid to ask or accept help. Confide in friends and other family members, keeping open communication about how you feel may help decrease feelings of anger, resentment and helplessness. Join a support group with a weekly or monthly meeting or online via message boards, chat rooms or blogs. This will provide time for you and give opportunities to speak with other people going through the same thing. Continue to incorporate the activities that give you pleasure that you normally would do. Eat healthy meals and take...
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