Inevitably, most of us must face the fact that our parents are aging and need additional care. Our parents may be having difficulty moving about. They may be neglecting their personal care, or showing a lack of interest in activities. They may be exhibiting confusion or uncertainty when performing tasks. Worse yet, they may have some unexplained bruising.
At some stage in our lives, many of us take on the additional role of caregiver—perhaps to help an aging parent or a chronically sick child. The demands of this caregiving role can be taxing, particularly when you have to juggle it within an already hectic schedule. This can lead to caregiver stress or “burnout”.
Whether a professional caregiver or just a person taking care of a loved one, stress is the number one issue that MUST be addressed. So many times caregivers take on more than they can handle. They feel such a burden to “DO IT ALL” that eventually they fall sick or lose the ability to care for the person they set out to care for in the beginning. So what is caregiver stress and what can be done?
When you are the Caregiver of a person with Alzheimer’s you become a prisoner in your own world. Although caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever have most say they wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Being able to care for your loved one through to the end of life is an unbelievable gift. However, without respite care, a temporary break from the demands of care giving, you may be more susceptible to the effects of Caregiver stress, such as depression, exhaustion, guilt and other health problems.
It might be considered a perfect storm. Grown children need to come together to make life decisions for their aging parents. All the issues that were present in childhood are now given the opportunity to rise up again and destroy families. In the rubble you will find elderly people desperate for care, guidance and assistance.
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