Providing long-term care to another person is an act of compassion that offers many benefits for everyone involved. Yet, the stress experienced by caregivers can sometimes lead to health problems if the proper measures are not taken to avoid physical and emotional strain. Here are 5 ways that caregiving could be hurting your health along with how to ensure you have the right types of support in place to prevent feeling overburdened.
- Skipped Medical Exams and Procedures – Caregivers often skip their medical appointments when their schedule becomes filled with their loved one’s physical needs. However, yearly exams and dental visits should be at the top of your priority list so that you can stay on top of your health concerns before they become serious.
- Neck and Back Strain – When a loved one requires assistance with their daily activities, it is the caregiver who shoulders the majority of the burden while lifting. If possible, encourage your loved one to complete movements independently to the best of their ability. When lifting is necessary, use the proper techniques or recruit help. Learn more about how a part-time Toronto caregiver could provide you and your loved one with help.
- Disrupted Sleep and Fatigue – Sleep disruptions are common among caregivers who may need to administer medication or check on their loved one throughout the night. However, fatigue lowers the immune system and makes accidents more likely. Try to fit in a nap during the day if possible or have an additional caregiver provide a few hours of respite so that you can get some rest after a long night.
- Emotional Distress – The emotional stress created by caring for a loved one with health concerns is often overlooked by caregivers who may feel guilty about feelings such as depression and frustration. Yet, these emotions can contribute to more serious health problems if they are allowed to go on too long. Try talking to a counselor or joining a support group that can help provide guidance regarding how to best manage emotional distress.
- Neglected Personal Hygiene – After bathing and dressing your loved one, the last thing you may feel like doing is brushing and flossing your teeth. However, keeping up with personal hygiene is an effective way to avoid more serious health problems.
Make sure to schedule time for yourself into your loved one’s day. Even taking a few minutes to stretch or exercise can make a significant difference in your physical health so that you have the energy to continue providing quality home care in Toronto.
For more information about care for an aging parent, grandparent or loved one, dial 416-488-8777 to speak to a devoted Care Manager. We offer respite care for caregivers and provide careful support and monitoring to seniors and older adults from the comfort of home. We also specialize in live-in care and have highly trained caregivers who can provide advanced Parkinson’s, dementia and Alzheimer’s care in Toronto. Call today and schedule your complimentary no-obligation consultation and avoid caregiver stress and burnout.