We’ve all heard the stories before.
A couple enters a caregiving situation. Eventually, the person receiving care stabilizes. But the caregiver’s health begins to worsen and decline. Rapidly, both enter a situation where they are in need of care. And in some cases, the care recipient outlives the caregiver.
Most people don’t enter a caregiving role thinking they will be putting their own health in harm’s way. Yet for most people, entering the world of caregiving puts them into a lifestyle with chronic high stress, a high risk for illness, and an ever-growing reduction in self-care leaves them vulnerable in many ways.
Caregivers tend to be big hearted. They are highly motived, extremely involved, responsible and well-intentioned. They give everything they have to the task at hand, and when something gives (and it always does) it’s usually their own health that is first in line.
If you’re used to putting the needs of everyone else ahead of your own, how can you shift?
First, understand the connection. [Read more…]