There are millions of caregivers who are helping seniors everyday, yet several are left with a feeling of isolation and anxiety at the end of the day. Being aware of these feelings and taking the necessary steps to alleviate them is a key part in being a professional caregiver. Here are four challenges you may face if you become a caregiver. Remember, you’re not alone and if you’ll accept it, there are many forms of support and resources that can be of great assistance.
Your Life May Go On Hold
Even if you won’t be caring for a senior “full-time,” it can quickly occupy all of your spare energy. It is common to feel this way, so it’s important to recognize this feeling and take the necessary action steps. Remember to make time for yourself. Set aside a couple hours each day to do the things you love most, whether that means reading a good book, watching your favorite show, going on a walk, or connecting with friends and family.
You May Feel Isolated
Like many professions, being a caregiver may sometimes mean that you have to choose between your duties and your social life. You may find it hard to relate to your friends who don’t have the same responsibilities in their line of work. Even if you do carve out time for yourself, it may be difficult to relax and be in the moment. The result is often a feeling of being “alone,” however forming a support network with other caregivers and care managers can break down any feelings of isolation.
Navigating Two Worlds
The elder’s world is likely different from your own. You may need to become familiar with medical terms, medications, managing financial matters and end-of-life legal issues. The senior may not be able to help and you may feel like you are managing two lives. If need be, find people who can help. At LivHOME, Caregivers are paired with Care Managers who assists with the maintenance of each client.
As a professional caregiver, there are many things to do and many demands on your time. It can leave you with a sense of frustration and feeling overwhelmed. When you feel overwhelmed, it’s important to take a step back and recognize your personal needs. Take the help when someone offers; accept you can’t control every component of a situation; share your feelings with those close to you.
No matter how old you are, caregiving can be stressful at times but there are some things you can do to manage. You may have to remind yourself of the intrinsic rewards of being a caregiver. Consider that you are doing a job that is valuable for someone in need. Seek counseling if you need it and try to stay in contact with your friends. As much as you can, carve out some time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate. Most of all, when you are out of your depth, ask for help – from experts, from family and from friends.
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