You may have heard the term caregiver stress, but until you’re experiencing it yourself, you may not realize how complex it can be. In fact, sometimes you don’t realize how bad the situation truly is until you’re up to your neck in stressful situations.
You’re More Worried about Your Aging Adult than Yourself
Part of being a good caregiver is that you’re concerned about your elderly family member. But when you’re spending far more time concerning yourself with your aging adult’s well-being than your own, you’re creating an imbalance for yourself. This means that you’re neglecting your own needs in favor of your senior’s needs and that can’t go on forever.
Your Coping Mechanisms May Be Weak
When you’re experiencing greater levels of caregiver stress, your coping mechanisms may not work as well as they have in the past. As the stress increases, the reliability of those coping mechanisms decreases. You may find yourself resorting to different tactics than you’ve used in the past, such as drinking more frequently. These techniques might work in the short run, but they rarely give you positive results in the long run.
You’re Going to Need to Step Back
As caregiver stress becomes worse, that’s a sign to you that you’re taking on too much. But simply realizing that you’re taking on too much doesn’t make those tasks and worries go away. As you step back a little bit, you need to fill that gap with other solutions. The idea of stepping back can be an unnerving one for most family caregivers. You want to help more, not less.
You May Need More Help
One of the best solutions, in this case, is to find ways to improve the amount of help that is available to you and your aging adult. This might come in the form of recruiting other family members who are better able to step in. you may also find that hiring elderly care providers fulfills the need you have for experienced assistance.
Dealing properly with caregiver stress means that you first need to recognize when you’re mostly feeling the effects. From there, you can start to put solutions in place to help you cope and to ensure your elderly family member is cared for.