by Growing Needs | Nov 21, 2022 | Caregivers Concern, Caregiving
With an aging population, more people are assuming the responsibility of caring for others without being health care professionals. Often, family members who are actively caring for an older adult do not self-identify as caregivers. Recognizing this role can help caregivers receive the support they need.
As a caregiver, taking care of yourself is equally important as giving care to your love ones. So, make sure you are eating well (with lots of greens like the broccoli), staying active, and scheduling time to relax.
Frustration and Guilt: Coping with them
Being a caregiver brings out many different emotions, both positive and negative. Feeling frustrated and angry with everyone, from the care recipient to the doctors, is very common. Angry feelings could indicate that you are overburdened or trying to do too much. Taking a walk, chatting with friends, getting some sleep may help you relax — Consider doing something for yourself.
Giving care is rewarding and stressful at the same time
Taking care of a loved one is a rewarding experience. Being there for them when they need you is a core value and something you wish to provide. There are many rewards to caregiving. Being there for a loved one when they need you is a core value and something they wish to provide. However, a shift in roles and emotions is nearly inevitable. There are natural feelings of anger, frustration, exhaustion, loneliness and sadness. These emotional and physical stress that derive out of caregiving is common.
Caregivers are often too focused on loved ones to realize their own health and wellbeing is suffering. Some signs of caregiver stress include: –
Stress, especially long-term stress, can harm your health. As a caregiver, you are more prone to depression or anxiety. In addition, you may not get adequate sleep, exercise, or eat a balanced diet, which increases your risk of medical problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Caring for someone who needs care can be emotionally and physically draining, so it is so important to make use of the many resources and tools available in order to help you. Remember that you need to take good care of yourself first, before you can take care of others.
Identify ways in which others can help you, and allow those helpers to help in any way they would like. For instance, a friend can offer to take the person you care for a walk a couple of times a week. Or a family member can run an errand or cook a meal. You can also consider purchasing your groceries online which save you the trip and the hassle of lugging rice and detergents back home.
Feeling guilty is normal, but remember that there is no such thing as a “perfect” caregiver. Do the best you can at any given time, and believe that you are doing the best you can.
Start by breaking large tasks into smaller steps that you can tackle one at a time. Establish a daily routine, make lists, and say no to requests that drain you, such as hosting holiday meals.
There may be resources available to you for caregiving. Many communities have classes that are specific to the disease your loved one has. There may be caregiving services such as meal preparation, housekeeping, and transportation available. You can also refer to Facebook community and websites like ours (growingneeds.sg), that have articles that encourage and provide local contents that are beneficial for caregivers.
Create goals to ensure you get a good night’s sleep, get physical activity most days of the week, eat healthy, and drink as much water as possible. Many caregivers have sleeping problems. Not getting quality sleep over a long period of time can result in health issues. If you have difficulty sleeping, do consult your family doctor.
Having trouble asking for help can leave you feeling isolated, frustrated and even depressed. There are many supports available here in Singapore for the caregivers to tap on. You are not alone in this caregiving journey and just like what Anna White quoted “I think this is what we all want to hear: that we are not alone in hitting the bottom and that it is possible to come out of that place courageous, beautiful, and strong.”
Growing Needs grew out of our own encounters with caring for our aging parents and reflecting on the Growing Needs that we ourselves would face as we advance in years. We hope to build a community that will learn, share and contribute towards caring for the growing needs of our loved ones.