Family caregiving is the process of taking care of a loved one who is suffering from a physical or mental ailment. Family caregivers are usually relatives, neighbors, friends, or close acquaintances who undertake this challenging role but are not paid for it. Most people are family caregivers at some point in their lives – someone might have aged parents; others might have disabled children or spouses having gone through accidents. Whatever the reason may be, family caregivers are, beyond a doubt, some of the most selfless people you’ve ever seen.
Challenges and solutions of family caregiving
Being a family caregiver is not an easy job, even if the person you’re caring for is a very close relative or friend. The task is challenging, exhausting (both physically and mentally), and requires a lot of problem-solving on a daily basis. Some challenges that family caregivers face include:
- Time management: Many family caregivers find that balancing work and other relationships becomes tough when caring for someone dependent on them.
- Emotional and mental stress: Many conditions such as Alzheimer’s can be mentally exhausting for the caregiver.
- Physical exhaustion: Family caregiving can also be physically exhausting if it involves lifting a patient who has limited mobility.
- Lack of privacy: When taking in a dependent, many caregivers find that their privacy is compromised, as they are always in contact with the dependent person.
- Financial strain: Caregiving is a full-time job and becomes even more exhausting when it’s unpaid. The time that could be utilized in money-making is being given to caregiving.
- Sleep deprivation: Most people have a very tough sleep cycle when they take on the role of a family caregiver. The patient’s sleep is very unpredictable, and that takes a toll on the caregiver’s health.
- Isolation and depression: Caregivers are often so consumed by their duties that they find little time to socialize and interact with others. This leads to loneliness, depression, and frustration. Caregivers are often so consumed by their duties that they find little time to socialize and interact with others. This leads to loneliness, depression, and frustration. Cargiver’s challenges & support are important part in their life
- Hesitation in asking for help: If you take on the role of a family caregiver, then you are, undoubtedly, giving it your best shot. But many times, caregivers feel that if they ask for help, it somehow reflects negatively on their caregiving abilities – even though that’s not the case.
The best way to deal with these challenges is to find a support group for family caregivers who will be able to help each other with their own experiences and insights. A support group for family caregivers provides a much-needed pillar to lean on when things become too difficult. If you feel isolated and experience stress, consider talking to family members and share your feelings with them. If that isn’t possible, it is a good idea to seek help from online support groups.
Where can I reach out?
ExtendaTouch’s caregiver support group online is a great platform for family caregivers to come together and help each other during tough times. They can share their problems and solutions and draw strength from each other – uplifting spirits, supporting mental health, and showing each other the silver lining. If you are a family caregiver, don’t hesitate to reach out to ExtendaTouch.