You might not realize it, but being a caregiver comes with certain health risks. These are above and beyond whatever health risks you already carry with you.
Caregivers are not so good about going to the doctor themselves. They’re also not likely to stick to a healthy diet unless they’ve made that really easy to do. What ends up happening, in that case, is that the caregiver winds up ignoring illnesses in favor of taking care of someone else. That gets dangerous when you factor in health issues like high blood pressure or diabetes.
Stress is a normal part of life and that’s something everyone deals with on a daily basis. But caregivers experience even more stress and it can get overwhelming easily. If you don’t have a plan in place to manage your stress, it’s going to continue to grow instead of going away.
Lack of Emotional Connections
Caregivers very often end up isolated and feeling very alone. This happens because of time constraints, but it also happens because other people in your life may not understand what being a caregiver demands of you. You might find that you distance yourself from friends and family members, but what you really need to do is to learn to reach out more to others.
Exhaustion and Insomnia
You might find that worries about your senior or about solving particular problems keeps you awake at night. Insomnia and the exhaustion that comes with it can become big parts of your life as a caregiver. Finding a sleep schedule that works for you can help, as can learning to set your worries aside instead of stewing over them.
Depression is incredibly common for caregivers. With regards to all of the factors above it can get really heavy and hard to bear on your own. If you notice yourself experiencing the signs of depression, make sure that you mention what you’re feeling to your doctor. There’s help available, but you need to let someone know what you’re going through so you can get that help.
One way around these increased health risks is to ensure that you’ve got help in caring for your aging adult. Senior care providers can step in for you and allow you the time that you need to take care of yourself and your own needs. If you don’t take advantage of solutions like this, you’ll burn yourself out. It’s tough to continue being a caregiver after that happens.