Family caregivers make many sacrifices in their own life to help take care of their aging loved ones. It is especially difficult for a family member to be a caregiver due to the emotional connection with the care recipient. They devote most of their time and energy to providing good care, often neglecting their own needs.
Unfortunately, many caregivers feel guilty if they take a much needed break. Taking time off is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Respite care wards off burnout, illness and anxiety in the caregiver. Studies show that 46 % of caregivers are clinically depressed. In addition, studies show that caring for an Alzheimer’s patient can shorten a person’s life by 4 to 8 years. In most cases, there is a lowered resistance to illness due to the caregiver’s exhaustion and sleep deprivation.
Signs of caregiver burnout include decreased energy, emotional exhaustion, social withdrawal, increased alcohol intake, overuse of prescription relaxation aids and excessive impatience, irritability or argumentativeness. Burnout takes many forms and includes depression, anxiety, persistent illnesses and lack of interest in enjoyable activities.
Even a caregiver needs help. Support for family caregivers is essential for the benefit of both them and the care recipient. Respite care, provided by Home Care Assistance in Albuquerque, provides the caregiver with relief and time away from the stress and responsibility of caring for their loved one. Spending time with friends or other family can go a long way toward relieving the hardships a caregiver goes through. Caregivers can also attend local support groups where other caregivers talk in a sheltered and empathetic environment providing a sense of community.
If you are a caregiver, don’t hesitate to seek help in caring for your loved one. Home Care Assistance offers respite care on an hourly or live-in basis to help family caregivers. Call Albuquerque Home Care near you for more information today.