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Caregivers in Crisis

SuzyKuppens

Being thrust into the role of caregiver can turn your life upside down. Maybe your mom suffers a hip fracture after a fall, your dad receives a cancer or dementia diagnosis, or your husband experiences some life-changing health scare; you rarely have time to plan ahead for this kind of responsibility. Pair the emotional burden of worrying about the health of your loved one with the physical responsibilities of daily care and even the most put-together person can feel like their world is falling apart. How do you know you need help? According to AgingCare.com’s article New Caregivers in Crisis: Getting Back Control of Your Life, you might be in crisis mode if any three of the following apply to you:

  • You have stopped seeing friends and family
  • You have stopped doing social activities
  • You’ve used up your vacation time and sick leave days
  • You can’t sleep even though you are exhausted
  • You are gaining or losing weight for no reason
  • You have lost your sense of humor
  • Your health is failing
  • You’re happiest just staying in bed
  • You have no energy
  • Your marriage is suffering
  • You have too many bouts of depression
  • You have lost your perspective on the beauty and joy of living
  • You feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders

The good news is that you are not alone–it’s not only perfectly normal to feel this way but completely understandable given what you are dealing with. The key to getting your life back on track is to recognize that you need help and then take the appropriate steps to make it happen. Determine what level of caregiving you can provide while still having time for the things that matter most to you. Let family members know you need assistance in order to keep balance in your life. For example, long distance siblings can visit for a weekend a month to give you a much needed break, and you can establish an every other day call schedule so that they are checking in on mom or dad and staying involved. Learn to set limits and how to say no. You are not failing as a son or daughter if you only stop by before work or for dinner each day even though mom wants you there at each meal. Fill the gaps in your caregiving commitments with professional help by using a trusted in-home senior care company like Home Care Plus. You can have peace of mind that your loved one is in good hands, and it will allow you to continue to work or keep up with your own health and hobbies, whatever you need to do to feel in control of your life.