[schema type=”review” author=”Tamara Bacco” pubdate=”2013-04-15″ user_review=”4.5″ min_review=”1″ max_review=”5″ ]
You may have heard this from friends who are taking care of their parents, or co-workers who have to take time off of their jobs to care for loved ones. You may have had to do it yourself. These care givers are considered “informal” caregivers.
Although there may appear to be wide discrepancies in estimates of the number of informal caregivers in the U.S., the figures cited below reflect variations in the definitions and criteria used in each study, e.g., age of care recipients surveyed or relationship of caregiver to care recipient.
The statistics are clear, there literally millions of people, caring for others, that are considered “informal caregivers.”
There is no doubt that being an informal caregiver can be a grueling job, time consuming with no breaks, and can be even 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Most of the time an informal caregiver will have other family responsibilities or jobs that add to the burden of caring for someone that cannot care for themselves.
Bigelow Family Home Care gets calls from people all the time who simply need a break from the constant drain that on their time and energy.
It is amazing how long an informal caregiver will wait to ask for help though they have felt like they have needed it for a long time. We have found that depression is a common problem with informal caregivers as they begin to feel isolated from others and lose their free time, and as the strains and stresses of the care-giving begin to build up.
The feelings of burnout usually are the signals that lead up the depression. The feelings of guilt, not having enough energy, the inability to concentrate, being overly irritable, and being extra anxious are all signs of burnout. The fact of the matter is that we were never meant to carry so much of the burden of care by ourselves, and like the title of this article says, it actually becomes to difficult to care.
It becomes to difficult to care alone that is…
Our mission at Bigelow Family Home Care is to be able to assist families not only in the care of an elderly parent or a loved one that needs care, we realize that informal caregivers need a break. Our caregivers are trained and certified to provide care that you need for your family, so you can take a guilt free break for yourself.
There is an interesting analogy that we can use for this “self care” idea. Most of us have flown on an airplane before. Before the plane takes off, the flight attendants (or a video) will show you a short safety training on how to buckle your seat belt, where the exits are, and how put on a flotation device if needed in a water landing. The other thing that they mention is if the cabin loses pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. They make it clear that if you are with children, put your oxygen mask on first!
Why? Because if you, as the adult caregiver of that child are rendered unconscious from a lack of air, you cannot help the child.
You have to remember, that if you are rendered incapacitated by depression, burnout, anger, resentment or even a feeling of overwhelm, you cannot care for someone as you should.
Remember to take some time to step back and evaluate your situation. Do not hesitate to ask for help. Don’t feel guilty, it’s a common problem with all caregivers. There are numerous caregiver services that are available to assist caregivers, such as local support groups. Bigelow Family Home Care is here to help carry the load as well. Let us help you…
For more information about how we may help you, call us today at 661-250-6818 or fill out our online form and we will contact you immediately.