The hope you might have when you first start out as a caregiver is that your own life isn’t going to change too much. You’re only helping out here and there, after all, and you spend a lot of time with your senior anyway. The reality is that caregiving is a big part of your life and it can impact every single aspect of your life.
Your Social Life Suffers
Caregiving takes up a lot of time and a lot of energy. That doesn’t often leave you much of either to spend on friends and other family members. Your other relationships can suffer when you aren’t nurturing them the way that you used to do in the past. Lots of times the people in your life understand this, but you still have to make a little bit of an effort, too.
You Probably Have to Work, Too
Very few caregivers are able to devote every waking moment to caregiving. That means that you’re having to balance your work with your duties as a caregiver. Again, as with your social life, you run into the problem of having finite reserves of both time and energy. Lots of employers are becoming more understanding and supportive of caregivers and their needs, though, so be sure to find out what benefits might help you.
Caregiving Can Be an Emotional Rollercoaster
You’re going to experience every emotion under the sun while you’re a caregiver. There really isn’t a way to predict how different situations will affect you, either. Acknowledging your emotions and letting them teach you what you need to know can help quite a bit. Do what you can to protect your emotional health, even if that means starting to work now with a counselor. They can help you to find the right tools for you as a caregiver.
You Have Limits
No matter how much you want to be there every minute and for every need, you’re only human. You have your limits and you need occasional breaks. Make sure that you’re scheduling time to take care of yourself so that you can continue to try to be there as much as possible for your elderly family member. If you don’t, you run the potential risk of developing burnout.
Put some plans in place that help you to be a caregiver and to be you, too. You don’t stop being yourself just because you’re caring for someone that you love.
Excerpt: Caregiving can affect every single aspect of your life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering a Caregiver in Liberty Lake, WA, please contact the friendly staff at Love at Home Senior Care, today. Call (509)474-0663.
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