2 reasons caregiving is SO HARD
We all know caregiver stress is a big problem. But WHY is caregiving so stressful? Nobody really talks about them, but we think these two reasons make caring for an older adult extra difficult.
1. You know exactly how this will end
We all know how the caregiving journey ends. Serious disease plus advanced age isn’t something that anybody recovers from. And nobody in history has ever survived the aging process, right?
This inevitable ending to the caregiving journey can make you feel many different emotions including sadness, anger, hope that it can be delayed a long time, or the desire to fight hard against it.
This creates an underlying source of stress and tension because you know your senior is slowly moving toward that final day and it makes you feel anything but happy.
2. You feel constant, unrelenting worry
Because of age-related issues or medical conditions (or both), your senior isn’t in the best shape. After all, that’s why they need care in the first place. No matter what, you’re probably always worried about them.
Are they eating well, taking medication, sleeping enough, falling down, bathing often enough, etc? The things you can worry about are endless and are a major source of stress.
3 tips to deal with this stress
It’s important to not let these strong thoughts and feelings take over your brain and add to the day-to-day stress of being a caregiver.
Here are a few tips for managing these thoughts and feelings.
1. Stay in the moment
It may sound corny, but being in the moment of whatever you’re doing really helps. Focus on whatever you’re doing right now, not what may or may not happen next month or even an hour from now.
Make the most of the present moment and really experience life as it’s happening to help reclaim control of your emotions and stress levels.
2. Talk about how you feel
Saying what’s on your mind and getting perspective from other people in the same situation is comforting. It also helps stop the negative or sad thoughts that seem stuck in your brain.
Find a local caregiving or aging support group and try it out. Even if you don’t want to discuss your feelings, it will still help to listen and know that you’re not the only one feeling this way.
3. Talk with a counselor
Your thoughts and feelings are powerful and can actually affect your physical health. It’s important to learn to cope with the challenges that caregiving brings. Sometimes, it’s best to get help from a trained professional.
Counselors and therapists give advice about managing strong feelings and help you understand why you feel the way you do.
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: 50 and Beyond