Caring for an elderly loved one is tough. Anyone who has done this for any extended period of time for a loved one has experienced the strain that comes along with it. After a while, this accumulated stress can lead to something called caregiver burnout. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t understand that this can happen, and the negative emotions that accompany it can catch people off guard. Furthermore, people can really suffer when this occurs because the quality of care that someone who suffers from burnout can provide declines dramatically.
To get a better idea of just what caregiver burnout is and how it impacts people, the American Geriatrics Society took a look at a group of people who were caring for seniors with cancer. This was the first major study to see what impact being a family caregiver had on the health of those providing assistance to someone close to them.
They found that the biggest concern was a decrease in quality of life on behalf of the caregiver, specifically when it came to mental health. This included things like distress, depression, and anxiety were the most prevalent mental health conditions that were observed. This impacts a lot of people–far more than what we might initially think. A lot of people are able to recognize this and take strides to rectify it, but not everyone is able to do so.
Interestingly, the report indicated that the more severe the health problem that the patient was struggling with, the more severe the emotional difficulty that the caregiver was going through became.
The good news is that if you are experiencing emotional difficulty because of the care that you are providing for an elderly loved one, there is help out there for you. However, continuing on after the same pattern that you have been is not going to help resolve the situation. That emotional difficulty isn’t just going to go away on its own. And the worst part is that you will not be the only one that has a tough time because of this. The care that you are providing for your family will eventually decrease in quality. If you aren’t taking proper care of yourself, it is really hard to take proper care of others, too.
One way to take care of yourself is by enlisting the help of a professional caregiver. It can be permanent or on a temporary basis through the form of a respite caregiver. What is best for you and your family is completely dependent on your unique set of circumstances.
If you have questions about how a professional care service can help your family, please get in touch with us. Our trained staff of caregivers would love to sit down and answer your questions. Our consultation service is completely free and comes with no obligations on your part. Hopefully, we can help get you pointed toward a solution that will help your mom or dad live a better life, and help reduce stress and other concerns amongst all of your other family members, too.