According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 50 percent of caregivers die before the person they are caring for.
Caregiving is a stressful job. As stress builds, it manifests into a variety of health concerns. People that face long term stress are more likely to suffer a stroke, are at a greater risk for heart attack, are more likely to develop cancer, and are at a greater risk for auto-immune diseases such as diabetes, headaches and depression.
The only way to move out of this trend is to allow some individual time, away from the caregiving role. Many caregivers use the excuse they don’t have time or have no one else to rely on. Instead of using this as excuses, find ways to ensure your own individual time.
Rely on other relatives, friends, or neighbors to do small tasks. Maybe a friend can take your loved one out for dinner and a movie. Or if they aren’t mobile, they can bring dinner in and watch a movie on television.
Hire professional caregivers for weekly supplemental tasks. Maybe they can come in two mornings a week while you attend a yoga class and lunch with friends.
Don’t do your loved one’s household chores. This will double up on your own tasks – monitoring two households – and will double up on your stress levels. Hire the gardener to mow the lawn. Hire a maid for light housekeeping. Hire a handyman for fix up projects.
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