Caregiver Stress

QUESTION: Caregiver Stress- Who's caring for the caregiver?

ANSWER:

Caring for an aging loved one is a full-time job, and one that often causes caregiver stress. What happens when the caregiver begins to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task? The following danger signs are potential indicators that the caregiver is approaching burnout.
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed or an increasing sense of frustration
  • Inability to concentrate and stay on task
  • Anger at the one being cared for
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Emotional abuse directed toward the one being cared for
  • Lack of compassion
  • Feeling Depressed
  • A developing "martyr" complex
Caring for the needs of the caregiver begins with the caregiver himself. Accessing available resources and setting healthy, realistic expectations are important components of remaining emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually strong while taking care of aging loved ones. An individual who is providing eldercare should consider the following steps to maintaining personal health:
  • Realistic goals should be set for daily and weekly completion.
  • Adequate amount of nutrition, food, exercise, sleep, and fresh air should be obtained to maintain health and a positive frame of mind.
  • Every caregiver must cultivate a healthy belief system and thought life about his or her care-giving—"I am caring for my loved one because I choose to do so." This will avoid feelings of entrapment and resentment.
  • Small acts of service toward oneself should be performed as a means of promoting the welfare of oneself. These may include reading a favorite book before bedtime, burning fragrant candles, or listening to soothing music. Even a 15-minute bubble bath or hot shower can restore a downtrodden spirit.
  • Staying connected to close friends is important to emotional well-being.
Even when a caregiver is doing all that can be realistically done to maintain personal health, there still are some needs that must be met by others. An adult child who tends to the care of aging parents needs occasional respite from the vigilance of being ever-present. The services of an adult daycare, the ministry of a local church, or the hired services of a health professional are all potential avenues that allow the caregiver to get away for a brief period. Friends can be helpful in offering a few hours of their time to sit with an elderly person. However, always exercise caution when using the services of a private individual or friend. Be sure to check references. It is also a good idea to invite the individual to come and visit before the actual time of respite.

Most importantly, one who provides eldercare needs to know that God understands the heavy load he or she is carrying. He promises that His grace is sufficient, no matter what the circumstance, and His strength can make the caregiver strong (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Learn More About Caring For The Elderly

WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus

Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus

I still have questions