While it may seem like a simple job for some, caregiving is one of the toughest and demanding jobs today. It becomes even harder if you are the only caregiver for your grandchild, parent, spouse, or any other loved one. There is an increased risk of contracting a health condition from simply undertaking the stressful caregiving duties alone. Although the responsibilities might be stressful, caregiving can be extremely rewarding especially if you have the right knowledge, support, and self-care tactics. Outlined below are a few things you need to know about caregiving.
1. It’s an Overwhelming Job with No Pay
Among other tasks, it is a caregiver’s responsibility to prepare meals, bath the person he/she is caring for, escort them to a doctor’s clinic, as well as ensure they take the medicines on time. It is considered one of the fastest growing profession where the caregiver doesn’t get any form of payment. Caregivers in the United Kingdom rarely get paid for services rendered, and that’s why some people opt for those who can provide live in care. If you’re looking for live in care in Wokingham, there are services in the area that can help.
2. It is stressful
The responsibilities that come with caregiving can take a toll on your emotional and physical health. It’s easy for one to forget about him/herself as a caregiver hence neglecting his/her health. One of the greatest burdens of caregiving is the mental strain that one has to deal with. According to research, approximately 35% of caregivers taking care of dementia patients experience high levels of stress and suffer from depression. Many of these live on anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs among other similar medications. If these issues are left unaddressed, severe depression could set in. The caregiver’s physical and mental health should be a priority for them to be able to perform.
How to Cope with Stress as A Caregiver
- Seek help: You shouldn’t take on all the chores in the house alone. Consider asking help from other siblings and children old enough to help with groceries and car rides. Friends and family, as well as members of the same faith, can lend a helping hand when you need it. You can also seek help from local volunteer organisations, governmental agencies, and other caregivers.
- Let it all out: As mentioned earlier, caregiving can be a demanding and stressful career. You therefore need to look for ways to de-stress and let it all out. Learning to manage stress by either joining a support group or talking to family or friends would therefore be recommended. According to research, caregivers that have a support system have a lower risk of suffering from stress-related conditions as compared to those that don’t.
- Put on physical exercise: Physical activity and regular exercise are recommended for every caregiver. It is by being active that the body gets to release endorphins and other chemicals that promote good well-being. Simple activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, or even going to the gym can help keep your body and mind in the best condition possible. You might also want to have well-balanced and nutritious meals for optimal performance. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fruits are your best bet for good health.
- Pick on a hobby: Just because you are a caregiver doesn’t mean you cannot pick a hobby. You need something to distract you from the normal routines and responsibilities. Even the simplest of hobbies such as gardening, watching a movie, or even reading a novel can help your brain and body relax. Be sure to ask a family member or another caregiver to help to assist the loved one while you ‘breathe’.
- Seek professional help: There are times when simply taking a break, or distracting yourself with a hobby won’t do you any good. If it is overwhelming for you, you might then want to seek help from a professional. An occupational therapist or another social worker might be able to help. Talking to a therapist should also help you cope with the same as well. You might also want to take insurance cover for the same.
Consider getting temporary care or assisted living in a facility or nursing home if you have to. There are plenty of programs and nursing homes that can provide similar services too. Although caregiving might be a stressful and demanding career, more than 50% of caregivers have been able to do well emotionally.