A majority of us will be caregivers at some point in our lives. As loved ones age, debilitating disease, chronic health conditions or simple frailty can soon follow. While some employ paid providers, most rely on unpaid assistance from families, friends and neighbors. We won’t always know when we’ll be needed as a caregiver, but there are things we can do to feel more prepared. With the right help and support, you can be an effective, loving caregiver without having to sacrifice yourself in the process.
As a caregiver, it is important for you to find a balance and take care of your own health. Symptoms of caregiver stress include depression, anxiety, anger, declining health, guilt and burnout. Caregiver stress can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, compromised immune system and exhaustion. The best way to care for your loved one is to care for yourself.
Despite the challenges, caring for a parent, spouse or loved one can have meaningful and lasting benefits:
- Enjoy peace of mind
- Honor your loved one
- Relationship building
- Learn new things
- Create new and positive memories