Elder Care Stress
Elder Care Stress : How to deal with Stress Related to Taking Care of an Elderly Parent.
When it comes to Elder Care Stress just know this: Emotions can run the gamut when caring for an elderly parent. But, the stress isn’t just on the side of the care giver, the elderly parent also feels stress as well. Aging parents as well as care givers can feel:
- Anger and
Both of your lives are changing and this is what may cause you to feel resentment. Anger steps in when the care giver begins to feel helpless and can’t help your aging parent with the path that aging is taking him or her. Your relationship is changing to one that feels backward or in reverse and that may cause you to feel grief over the loss of the relationship you once had with your parent.
This is normal, you didn’t stop and think that the day would come that the big strong man your father once was, would now depend on you for everything. Now you are the big strong one and he looks so small and frail.
Elder Care Stress : You are now the parent, but was once the child. And, most caregivers feel a sense of guilt for feeling this way. This guilt can cause an enormous amount of stress for the caregiver. Your life feels like everything is out of control when it was once controlled and orderly.
As you, the caregiver, watch your elderly parent decline in health and mental status the daily pressures will mount. I can hear you, you are asking: When did this happen? When did he get old? Why doesn’t he/she know how to do this anymore? And you begin to hear words that you don’t know or don’t under stand such as: Dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, long term care…
If the Elder Care Stress reaches a high enough level, you as the caregiver will begin to experience burnout. There are ways to head off the burnout stage of elder care.
Parenting your own parent is what it really boils down to. And, this is unfamiliar ground. It doesn’t feel right at first, but as time goes on and you begin to see how little your aging parent can actually do, you will automatically help them continue to do it or you will do it form them. This isn’t about love and how close you are to your parent. It’s about having to take care of someone else’s personal health and well being, as well as their financial well being. It’s a lot to take on.
If you still have children at home the stress level is much higher as in the article: Sandwich Generation – Are you a Member? When you add in your own children you are dealing with two different generations. Health issues common to the care giver:
- Mounting frustration
Caregivers, especially if you are the child of the elderly person, will put the needs of the parent before the need of yourself. Because there are only so many hours in a day and so much to do for your parent and possibly your children, you tend to skip meals, cancel events with your own friends and spend all of your time caring for others.
This is a mistake and it will heighten the Elder Care Stress that is already present. In the long run you will end up with emotional and physical issues if you neglect yourself. It is not selfish to put yourself first. If you are a caretaker, you must put yourself first. If you plan to continue caring for your elderly parent then you need to make sure that you are able to do that and that means taking care of yourself first.
You will also need time off, whether that is to go out with your husband, friend, time alone or a long awaited vacation away from home. You could get other family members to kick in and help while you are taking a break. However, from my experience don’t hold your breath… you could start looking into other alternative measures such as:
- Assisted living
- Elder Care Nanny
- Personal care homes
- and then as a last resort you could look into what nursing homes are all about and what they could offer down the road.
Finding a person or a place to cover for you will lead possibly to more stress. Such as stress of elder abuse and elder fraud but you can read more about those later. Try finding a rusted family member to take over while you take a break.
One of the best things you can do is find other people who are also going through what you are also dealing with Elder Care Stress. You are not the only one who has found themselves in the position of taking care of their elderly parent. Look around for a support group where you can share with others the emotions of being a caregiver.
Talking and sharing with others will lighten the load of stress. You will be able to hear what others are going through as well. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and eating well. Take care of yourself, because if you don’t? Someone will be taking care of you a whole lot sooner than you think. Besides that, if you aren’t in a physically healthy place you will not be able to continue to take care of your elderly parent. And, deep down in your heart you know you want what is best for your parents, they always wanted what was best for you.
And, sometimes what is best for your aging parent may be finding them a suitable place for them to live and get the care they need. Again there is no reason to feel guilty if you just can’t take care of your parent.
So, hang in there and do the right thing and that right thing starts with taking care of you so that you can take care of them. Here are a few resources for you to check out:
Here are six suggestions to help prepare for some of the most common stressful situations that can occur during elder care. The role of an elder caregiver is not an easy one, and many find themselves taking on this role …
Are you an informal or family caregiver for an elderly person? If you are, you are not alone.
Dealing with caregiver stress becomes a reality when taking care of an elderly individual. It could be a family member, such as a grandparent or parents, it could be a friend, or it could be part of a job. No matter who the elderly …