The Challenges of Being a Family Caregiver

Deciding to care for a loved one as their health declines can be a big decision. 21% of Americans act as a caregiver to a loved one, but many do not plan for the many challenges that can arise when providing home care. Often, bringing in a CNA or a personal care assistant can alleviate some or all of these struggles.

This article includes some of the common challenges many familial caregivers face, although each situation will have its own individual set of challenges.

Family CaregiverPhysical and Emotional Stress
Caring for an aging loved one is a feat of physical stress. You have to complete all the tasks your loved one requires which may potentially include lifting and standby-assist if your loved one is not as mobile as general daily tasks require someone to be.

In addition to that, caregiving can also be emotionally stressful. It can be difficult to be around a loved one every day as you realize that they cannot do everything they once did. It is also common for frustrations to arise if you have difficulty communicating as their memory and mental state decline.

As a caregiver, you spend most of your time with one person. In some cases, caregivers are unable to leave the house with their loved one very often, so they must rely on visits from others for social interaction.

This scenario can often lead to depression, especially as caregivers go longer and longer without social interactions from friends and family. In fact, 40% to 70% of people who care for a loved one have clinically significant symptoms of depression.

Finding Time for Themselves
When caring for a loved one, it can be challenging to find time to care for oneself. Many family caregivers may find that they do not have as much time to enjoy their favorite hobbies or activities, whether from the large workload required as a caregiver or because they feel guilty for taking time for themself.

Sleep Deprivation
It is common for your loved one’s sleep-wake cycle to be mixed up, which can cause sleep deprivation for the family caregiver. Not only does sleep deprivation result in a lack of energy, but it can also cause other health problems.

One such problem is a lack of concentration, which can be dangerous for someone who is in charge of caring for another. Not to mention, sleep deprivation can also make someone more irritable, especially when they work hard all day and then cannot get a full night’s sleep.

The Shame Associated With Asking for Help
Many family caregivers feel as though asking for any form of help is a sign of weakness, and so they continue to take on the extreme workload and stress that comes along with being a family caregiver.

No one should ever be ashamed of asking for help, and sometimes asking for help is the best thing a family caregiver can do for their loved one. At Allcare Home Health, our experienced CNAs function as personal care assistants that can help to alleviate the stress and frustration that some family caregivers experience. By trusting us to provide home health care for your loved one, we can help you eliminate the challenges that many family caregivers face, allowing you to simply enjoy your loved one’s company.

Call us today to schedule an in-home assessment with one of our experienced, knowledgeable RNs. You’ll be so glad that you did!