During the past several months, you might have felt an incredible weight on your shoulders. Or your heart. You’ve been a caregiver for an elderly family member. Maybe this was your mom or dad, a spouse, a sibling, grandparent, or someone else close to you.
That pressure is often caused by caregiver stress. It’s the emotional, mental, or physical strain being a family caregiver places on a person.
Sure, you may be feeling some of the same things you have for years or even most of your life -like depressive symptoms or mild anxiety during stressful situations- but lately things have been getting worse. They’ve grown tougher to deal with.
May is Mental Health Month.
It’s a time to acknowledge that your mental health is just as important as the senior’s physical health. While you’re supporting this aging parent or other family member, do not neglect your own care.
Many family caregivers ask the simple and direct question (often assuming what the answer may be),
“How can I possible make time to care for myself?” That senior needs you. You’re not going to just turn your back on him or her, are you?
No, you’re not. And you don’t have to. The solution that can not only provide quality, timely support for the senior who depends on you and helps you deal with the struggles you’re facing in your life is a phone call away.
It’s called home care.
Too often, family caregivers don’t even think about a home care agency to help because they see this as their duty, their job. They think home care is a ‘less than’ solution when, in fact, it’s often a ‘better than’ answer.
A home care agency can provide the type of quality, experienced aide your elderly loved one can benefit from when they need it.
For example, you might have been supporting this parent most mornings before work. This has made you late more than a few times, perhaps even earning you a reprimand from your boss.
That’s not going to help your stress or anxiety levels at all. It could also cause you more sleepless nights, which is only going to exacerbate the trouble you feel already.
A home care aide could be hired to support that elderly parent some (or most) mornings during the week, so you can instead stay home, take your time to get ready, and then get to work on time. You wouldn’t have to lose sleep worrying about the things you still have to do for work or what’s going to happen that next visit to your elderly mother’s or father’s house.
The home care agency becomes a support system for not only that senior, but you.
This month, if you are feeling the effects of depression, anxiety, or have trouble sleeping, don’t go it alone and don’t ignore the problem. Look for help. When you look, you’ll find it within home care.
Also, take mental health seriously, and if you need it, seek out a professional, licensed counselor to help you cope with these struggles.