Category Archives: Alzheimer’s & Dementia
Being a family caregiver tends to be an emotional roller-coaster. Whether an elder requires limited help performing some activities or hands-on assistance with just about everything, caring for an aging loved one can become stressful and demanding. If caregivers do not properly manage the emotional burden and practice deliberate self-care, it can lead to burnout, depression, and frustration.
Common Emotional Challenges of Caregiving
Understanding some of the most common emotional effects of caregiving is the first step to addressing them in your own life. Some of the most prevalent feelings experienced by family caregivers include:
- Anger: Many family members who are heavily involved in caring for an aging person feel angry about what is occurring, both to themselves and to their loved one. This anger can stem from the high demands and restrictions that caring for an elder can create, especially if a caregiver is the “default” caregiver or does not receive practical or financial help from other relatives. Caregivers may also feel angry with the person they are caring for, anger towards the disease or aging process, or anger as a response to lack of available solutions.
- Guilt: Guilt is perhaps the most common emotional hurdle experienced by family caregivers. Caregivers may feel guilty when they are unable to cure a loved one’s condition or alleviate their loved one’s pain. Feelings of guilt may also arise when a caregiver becomes frustrated with an aging family member’s behavior, such as forgetfulness or sleeplessness.
- Frustration: Family caregivers tend to feel frustrated with themselves and with the person they are caring for. Frustration and guilt are closely intertwined in the life of the family caregiver, as they tend to cause or worsen one another. Caregivers frequently express that they are frustrated with their loved one for reasons beyond that person’s control, then feel guilty for feeling frustrated and grow further frustrated with their persistent sense of guiltiness. It is a vicious cycle that often pushes caregivers to despair and feel as though the care they are supplying is inadequate.
Ways to Handle the Emotional Toll of Family Caregiving
One of the best ways you can deal with the stresses of caring for a loved one or family member is to turn to someone you can trust. It is invaluable to have a listening ear, whether it be in the form of a friend, fellow family member, or support group. When possible, counseling has proved helpful for many families during times of difficulty. Depending on the circumstances and the level of care required, in-home care is also a great way to alleviate some of the pressure by allowing caregivers to have more time to take care of themselves and other responsibilities without worrying about their loved one’s well being.
Experienced, Compassionate In-Home Care in Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, and all of Northeast Florida
At A Care Connection, we proud ourselves in delivering quality, personalized care to every client and family we serve. Whether you are looking for respite care, help looking after a family member with Alzheimer’s or dementia, assistance with daily activities of living such as bathing, dressing, etc., or just an extra set of eyes to help you monitor your loved one’s health, we can help.
Call (904) 899-5520 today or schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our Registered Nurses.