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Caregiver Myth: There isn't Any Emotional Support for Caregivers

04/27/2018
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Have you ever asked a caregiver how they are feeling? Often, we are only concerned with the well-being of the elder in care. We never wonder how the caregiver is doing after caring for their loved one. Emotional support for caregivers is crucial to help them express themselves when they think it’s not possible.

Caregivers often think they should share their feelings or struggles they experience, as they believe it’s not fair for them to say what they are going through when their loved one is in need. This caregiver myth doesn’t help them to express any pent-up emotions and could often lead to emotional distress. Caregivers need to have the strength and support themselves to provide for their loved one. If they don’t have the emotional support, they won’t be at 100 percent for helping care for their loved one.

Should Caregivers Talk about Their Feelings?

Caregivers have the most significant emotional strength because they don’t let their emotions take attention away from their loved one. That’s why it’s sometimes strange to others when the caregiver breaks their silence and tells everyone all the feelings they experience. People may not believe it, and won’t pay attention to signs of emotional distress the caregiver may have.

Emotional support for caregivers is an essential component for any caregiver to avoid feeling guilty for experiencing certain emotions. Support groups for caregivers can be an outlet for caregivers to explore comfortably talking about how they think and find the support they need to continue caregiving.

If they don’t find the support they need, they will begin to have caregiver resentment and other emotions that are associated with caregiving. The emotional side of caregiving does exist, and it’s vital to let caregivers know that it is okay to be a little sensitive sometimes.

The harmful emotions they experience

If a caregiver doesn’t have an outlet to express themselves emotionally, they will begin to fester painful feelings that could end up damaging them in the long run. The emotions of caregiving could make any caregiver feel alone and without support. It will harm their own health, which will affect the care they provide to their loved one.

Here are some of the emotions that can be harmful if caregivers don’t have proper emotional support:

  • Resentment for those who are not providing enough support help for the loved one, such as siblings
  • Guilt from feeling like they are not doing enough for their loved one.
  • Worry that becomes a form of comfort because it will provide validation that you are focused on the care
  • Anticipatory grief for your loved one that has a long-term chronic illness or a terminal illness

Caregivers may have a selfless job, but their emotional stability is important, too. They need to know that they can talk about the emotions they may be facing and not bottle everything up. Help and support are essential for a caregiver to do their best.

Is caregiver support a myth?

Do you ever feel as though you’re drowning in responsibility? Do you feel like you’re pedaling backward most days or your elderly loved one’s health decline is your fault? Have you lost sight of your hobbies and personal life? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re probably in need of some assistance when it comes to caregiver support.

Caregiver support is still a taboo subject in the family care realm, but it shouldn’t be. Family caregivers burn themselves out by adhering to the idea that they don’t need help. Want to know a secret? Everyone needs a little TLC sometimes. Support for caregivers of elderly parents and disabled loved ones is equally important for the carer and their loved one.

The Importance of Emotional Support for Caregivers

You’re not at your best for anyone else unless you’re feeling your best. When you’re over-stressed, over-tired, and overworked, it shows. Disabled loved ones and elderly family members in need of care might start to feel like a burden or guilty for needing assistance. In turn, they might begin to hide the true extent of their disability.

Alternative care gives you the time to take care of your own needs, so you’re better prepared to tend to the needs of your loved ones. It’s a win-win.

The help they need the most

More than anything, caregivers need to know it’s okay to ask for help. There’s nothing wrong with calling upon your spouse or other family members to help lift some of the stress off your shoulders. When someone who loves you asks if you need help, don’t say no for fear of “putting others out.”

An adult day care is a vital caregiver resource because you can still be as involved in your disabled loved one’s daytime life as you want. Contrary to popular belief, caregivers are more than welcome to attend day-to-day activities and celebrations at an alternative care center.

Caregiving Support Resources

Some family caretakers believe they’re not doing their job if they are not handling every task themselves. Seeking the help of an adult day care for caregiver support does not mean you love your family any less. In fact, asking for help and taking a little time for yourself makes you a stronger support system for your disabled family member.

There is no one way to tend to a loved one’s needs. Taking the time to research alternative care options that offer your family member a higher quality of life is exactly what a caregiver’s job is. Don’t drive yourself crazy with guilt or bite off more than you can chew.

For caregivers to not give into these harmful emotions, they must know they have support and the people around them are there to help them with the emotional side of caregiving. Support groups for caregivers are one of the primary ways for caregivers to speak with other caregivers about what they are feeling. Some caregivers may be able to open up more in these support groups because they feel like they are amongst other individuals in a similar situation.

During these support groups, they can share stories that may help another caregiver. If you know a caregiver, it would also be a good idea to let them know that you are available for them to express their emotions and that you support them. The reassurance will make any caregiver feel that they are supported and will have someone there for them.

We are Here to Help Caregivers

Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers are a fun, safe environment for seniors and disabled adults. It offers adult daycare services made to give caregivers a break and support if they need it. Visit one of our locations today to see how we can help you!