Caregivers do a million things every day. Some of them are simply routine while others are pretty difficult. In fact, the life of a caregiver is often filled with challenges. While not every caregiver encounters the same challenges, there are some common ones that it can be beneficial to know how to overcome. Below are 3 caregiver challenges that you might encounter and what you can do to overcome them.
#1: Feeling Overwhelmed by How Much Needs to Be Done
Caregivers often spend a great deal of time doing things for the older adult they are caring for. You may run errands for them, cook meals, take them to the doctor, make sure they take medications, and many other things. On top of that, many caregivers also work a full-time job and are raising children. Having so much to fit into every day can leave you feeling overwhelmed. One way to deal with this is to create an ongoing “to do” list. Prioritize the list daily, putting the things that absolutely must be done on the top. Remember that it’s a rolling list, so you don’t have to complete it every day. It can also help to reduce the amount you have to accomplish on your own by asking others for help. Don’t be afraid to approach family members, friends, and the senior’s neighbors to ask for a little help. You may be surprised at how many people are willing to help. They just needed to be asked. In addition, consider contacting a home care agency to hire professional caregiver assistance.
#2: Feeling Unwell Yourself
Caregivers are more prone to getting ill because of the stress in their lives as well as the fact that they often don’t take care of themselves. Being busy can result in skipping exercise and sleep as well as choosing quick foods instead of healthy ones. Caregivers also tend to stop going for their own regular doctor appointments. Make time to take care of yourself. You can save some time on making healthy meals by cooking for both yourself and the older adult at the same time so that you cook one meal instead of two. As for exercise, you may be able to work the older adult’s exercise needs into your own. For example, you may be able to take walks together. You could also spend an hour working out at the gym while the senior attends a class designed for older adults.
#3: Negative Feelings
Being a caregiver can sometimes make you feel sad, frustrated, or angry. These feelings are all normal, but they aren’t particularly pleasant. If you are experiencing signs of depression, it’s important that you speak to your doctor and get treatment. Joining a support group for caregivers can also be helpful as it gives you a place to talk to others about how you’re feeling and will help you to see that you are not alone.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Cumberland, ME, please contact the caring staff at CareTree Healthcare today. Call today! 207-899-0774.
The story behind CareTree is one of empathy, caring and compassion. Every team member, from our key office staff to our network of caregivers, has experienced first hand the frustration, confusion, and helplessness that families go through when watching a loved one lose independence and pride with aging. Everyone on our team is here to make a difference in the lives of families throughout Maine, ensuring you never have to experience those same feelings and always feel that you are part of the CareTree family.