Signs of Caregiver Stress
- Frustrations change your mood and behaviors
- Your tone shifts with your senior aged loved one
- Other responsibilities are not being met other than caregiving
- Needing more sleep than normal
- You are not providing the same level of care
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When it comes time to choose the best form of care for an elder, there are many options provided to you. One of the most commonly chosen options is having them remain in their home. This is where they are most comfortable, most familiar, and most happy. While remaining in their home for care is essentially a good idea, it does take a lot of work and patience. Luckily, there are a few different options for those individuals who make this choice.
As children, we understand the sacrifices made and the time spent when it came to our parents caring for us. They made sure our wants and needs came before theirs, and we were always put first. It is because of this understanding that we see clearly they did not do it out of obligation or force, but out of unconditional love. And that is why, when it comes time for the roles to reverse and for our parents to be in need of our help and assistance, we take on that task with love and desire. Though caring for an elderly individual in your home is time consuming and sometimes difficult, there are many resources you can go to that will help in your selfless act of caring for elderly parents.
Individuals who choose to care for the elderly come in many different forms. They can be as skilled and professional as a doctor, to someone as casual as a volunteer who spends their spare time providing companionship to those in need of it. Between a doctor and a volunteer, there are many different individuals who provide care for elderly on many different levels. We’ll take a look at a few of those levels, going from volunteer up to a nurse.
When you find yourself being a caregiver for aging seniors, whether they are your parents or friends, you feel an awesome responsibility laden with fear, but also of wanting to do the right thing. There are so many options available in a relatively unknown world that you’ve probably never had to face before, so you don’t feel you’re educated enough to make the decision, or help in that decision. Nonetheless, this is the type of feeling most common as a caregiver for an aging senior.
When you’re doing an online search for a caregiver assistance facility, you need to be a bit more specific in your definition – are you looking for a place of employment as a caregiver, or, are you looking for a place for an elderly senior loved one in need who requires care inside a facility?
There are many choices today when seeking caregivers for the elderly in need. And need would be determined if a senior requires assistance with one or more of the Activities of Daily Living. Commonly known as ADL’s, these are everyday functions and activities that individuals usually do without help. ADL functions include bathing/showering, continence (controlling the urge of going to go the bathroom), dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring (getting in or out of bed or chair).
Before you make a phone call to one of the many San Diego caregivers, decide what home-care skills your elder requires and what specific tasks have to be performed. Write the required skills and tasks down. You can use this to then clearly communicate your aging senior’s specific needs to a caregiver.
For example, you may want someone skilled in managing the difficult behavior of a confused older adult or providing range-of-motion exercises to a stroke victim, or managing incontinence. Tasks may include lifting, bathing, or even driving to medical appointments.
When you’re looking to find a caregiver for a senior in need, you first need to know what you’re looking for. Things may seem normal on the outside, and some changes are barely noticeable. Once in a while we all forget details or put things off, but when a pattern develops, it may be serious. Remember, dementia (mental deterioration) is not a normal part of aging. Sharpen your observational skills, and look for patterns within the following key areas:
Basic tasks – difficulty in walking, dressing, talking, eating, cooking, climbing steps or managing medications.
Those who are dementia care givers know the many challenges you’re facing, like losing your privacy, worrying, assisting with daily living, filling the long hours, coping with new expenses, grieving in anticipation of watching someone you love change, and family-work stress, just to name a few of the stressors.
Please know that feeling like you’re taken for granted as a caregiver is incredibly common. Surveys indicate that more than half of all regular and especially dementia caregivers feel this way, and these understandable feelings are also stressors. What also adds stress is the feeling like you’re needlessly and unrightfully complaining when you legitimately feel this way. Here are some ways to cope with the fact that, especially for dementia caregivers, appreciation isn’t always in abundance: