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How Does Being a Caregiver Affect Someone Mentally & Physically?

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Caring for an aging loved one can have positive and negative aspects, but both could impact your quality of life. Learning more about the role could help you prepare for potential problems and develop effective strategies. Take a look at some of the ways caring for elderly loved ones can affect caregivers mentally and physically.

Muscle Strains

Some seniors experience reduced mobility as their muscle mass decreases, their vision becomes impaired, and they have difficulty making logical decisions. As a result, family caregivers may need to assist their loved ones with moving from room to room, getting out of bed, going to the restroom, and handling large packages and objects. Lifting your parent or heavy items could increase your odds of muscle strains and aches. To manage this particular issue, purchase mobility devices for your parent and ask your siblings to help with heavy lifting. You could also hire a professional caregiver who is accustomed to the physical aspects of the role.

Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Wellesley families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.

Depression

Caregivers often feel alone and may give in to bad habits or sad thoughts. Lack of support from family and friends can cause stress and increase the risk of depression. Taking on too much is often the reason family caregivers experience mental and emotional issues. However, there are steps you can take to alleviate stress and boost your wellbeing. For example, you can join a caregiver support group and build a network of like-minded people. Sharing your stories with others going through similar situations could reduce your anxiety. In addition to a support group, you should have a mentor to speak with about the negative and positive aspects of caregiving. This person can be a coworker, friend, family member, or any other person you trust.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a family caregiver who is feeling the effects of stress. When researching agencies that provide senior home care, families are usually looking for flexible care plans, compassionate and highly trained caregivers, and 24/7 availability. Whether you need respite care to take a break from your caregiving duties or your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, you can rely on Home Care Assistance.

Weight Gain

Being a family caregiver often leads to many sacrifices, including not taking the time needed to prepare nutritious foods and exercise. These are critical factors to maintaining a healthy weight and staving off issues like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Stay committed to following a healthy diet by preparing meals a couple of times each week and making entrées you can warm up each day. You should also take time off to work out and shed calories, whether you go for a run through the neighborhood, visit the local gym, or join an exercise group.

Lack of Sleep

Caring for senior loved ones with conditions like dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease can prevent family caregivers from getting the rest they need at night. Instead of sleeping, you may be up watching your loved one, ensuring he or she doesn’t leave home or fall while going to the restroom. Being sleep-deprived could have adverse effects on your brain health and heart function and lead to crankiness. Ask others for assistance or consider using respite care services until your loved one’s sleeping routine gets better.

If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, a professional caregiver can provide the support and encouragement you and your loved one need. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Wellesley Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If you need professional home care for your aging loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (781) 239-0060.

Home Care Assistance Massachusetts Awards