On average, a caregiver spends over 24 hours each week providing care to a loved one with many spending more time per week on various tasks and duties. Family care giving usually involves the most burden, taking care of a spouse or partner that will have a variety of tasks that go above and beyond assisting with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and eating, and including medicine, medical or nursing tasks.
What are some of the Common Challenges
Caregivers experience anxious and overwhelming feelings by their duties at times. It is a normal part of the process of care giving. It can be tough but a rewarding experience, especially if one is taking care of a loved family member.
Challenges can include:
- Time Management. Spending time caring for another takes away time for themself and spending time with other family members. Many times the duties take precedence and enjoyable hobbies, activities even vacations are sacrificed. It becomes more difficult when balancing work and family life, if the caregiver has young children or other obligations to be responsible for as well.
- Financial strain. With normal family obligations, a caregiver has to learn the fine balancing act it takes to accommodate personal and the family member’s needs. Financial strain can create a great deal of added stress due to many times most family caregivers are unpaid, and the more time taken away from paying jobs or their career, the more financial strain they can experience.
- Emotional and physical stress. Caring for a family member long term, especially for those with a chronic conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s appear to cause the most amount of stress as the physical and emotional demands can take a toll. This includes lifting, bathing and caring for those who are no longer able to do so, and the emotional stress if the person easily becomes angered, forgetful or appears ungrateful due to their debilitating condition.
- Lack of privacy and isolation. A family caregiver is often at high risk for depression. Many times, caregiving takes so much time that it is difficult to maintain connections with other family members or friends outside the home. Having a limited time to spend on one’s own personal health can exacerbate depression leading to poor sleep and feeling isolated.
- Poor sleep quality. Added stress, worrying over a loved one with a chronic disease or feeling the strain of financial burden can keep anyone awake. Sleep deprivation will only make the mental toil seem worse who is already feeling burnt out.
- Being afraid to ask for help. Many people have trouble asking for help. They feel ashamed to seek help from others as they feel guilty that they aren’t able to provide the best care 100% of the time. It is not a sign of weakness, it is actually a strength to admit that help is needed.
Taking care of your own physical and mental health will make you that much better of a caregiver and you should never feel ashamed. Seek help with a local church or respite care facility to schedule a time to take a break to gain perspective and a breather from caregiving. You will feel much better if you do as a whole.
One of the most important ways to combat Caregiver Burnout is to seek a balance between care giving and your own life. Find local respite services and plan calendar events to maintain organization and finding the time to take breaks. Respite care allows caregivers the time to take a break to focus on their own personal mental health, to separate themselves to gain perspective on life goals and to pursue other interests.
Who We Are:
Med Transport Center offers non-emergency long-distance medical transportation by ground (MED Coach) or in flight (MED Flight). Med Transport Center has provided comfortable accommodations that support disabled or special needs patients for the last 30+ years. Our transportation service is designed for anyone who has increased medical needs or limited mobility, including the elderly, disabled, or even those who are just needing a little assistance during their travel.
Med Transportation Center is dedicated to providing a safe, comfortable journey with each ground or in flight transport. Each transport is medically-equipped for non-emergency transports, offers 2 professional drivers, a licensed nurse and an emergency physician in case the need arises. Furthermore, our utmost priority is to make sure that your loved one will safely get to his or her destination.