A report by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP states that there are 65 million people in the U.S. who act as caregivers for disabled or senior family members. Caregivers are spending, on average, 20 hours a week of unpaid time feeding, clothing, and assisting their loved one daily. On top of a full-time job or raising children, a caregiver can quickly become overwhelmed by their responsibility of caring for another person.
In a 2009 survey for the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, caregivers said they had fair to poor self-health and much more physical and mental distress. They felt dissatisfied with their life. Caregivers often feel frustrated, isolated, and depressed because they lose leisure time. Because of this lack of personal time and self-care, 20 percent of caregivers resort to poor diet, smoking, and drinking, which leads to even more health problems. The cost of caregiving is not the money spent, but personal well-being that is risked.
Accept help, and don’t be afraid or embarrassed to do so. Your health depends on it. If the caregiver’s health fails, who will help the person who needs the care in the first place?
Enroll your loved one in a day care program. Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers offer services to disabled adults and seniors.
You can also join a caregiver support group. Local in-person and online resources are available. It helps to know you’re not alone and that your story may be similar to what others are going through.
Ask family members or friends for help with tasks like household cleaning, grocery shopping, and dropping the kids off at practice. Accept life’s lemons and make lemonade. If you see yourself or your family member as a “victim,” you’ll always feel bitter or angry about your situation. Take back control of your life and your outlook on the situation.
Take care of yourself in healthy ways by taking a walk around your neighborhood or doing other exercises. Treat yourself to a good meal or do a hobby that you enjoy. And, of course, make time for adequate sleep.
Talk with doctors and healthcare providers about your options. Get your questions answered. There are 40 states that provide adult day care services, and Nevada is one of them. If you are interested in adult day care services for disabled adults or seniors that need close care, call Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers. We provide a wide array of services to create a customized care plan for your loved one. Call today to learn how we can help you take better care of yourself and your loved one.