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The Family Caregiver (Ultimate Multi-Tasker)

By Bill Lusk, CSA

One of the outcomes of having an aging population is the significant increase of family caregivers. These are situations such as a husband caring for his wife, who has Alzheimer’s, or a daughter looking after her aging mother whose husband has since passed away.

Family caregiving is one of the most time demanding, emotionally draining, non-paying job there is out there today. If you are a family caregiver, you know exactly what I mean.

Many family caregivers already have full time jobs. They have spouses. They have children. They own a business. More than enough to keep them busy…Now Mom just had a stroke. Or Dad fell and broke his hip. First come the daily hospital and rehab visits. Upon discharge, the return home is when the fun really starts. Meals need prepared, bills paid, doctor appointments, laundry, housekeeping, dog walking, bathing and toileting – to name a few.

The family caregiver, “the ultimate multi-tasker”. How do they do it? Most people can run at this pace only for a few weeks. What happens to the family caregiver when the situation worsens or becomes permanent? There is always lots of love, but caregivers are humans. Enter symptoms of caregiver stress and burnout.

The physical symptoms are easy to spot – fatigue, low energy, weight gain/loss, sleep deprivation and decline in general health, even decreased immunity to disease. Tragically, when an elderly spouse becomes the caregiver, the increased stress often leads to the caregiver passing away before the care recipient does.

There is a gamut of emotions the caregiver goes through. Anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, resentment, helplessness and grief. These are normal human responses to caregiving. The caregiver’s world has been turned upside down. Plans cancelled, relationships strained, future in doubt. Life has been put on hold.

CAREGIVERS – Give Yourself a Break! There is help available. CarePatrol’s Certified Senior Advisors offer free assistance in providing the safest care options for your loved one. Your local area specialist can expertly help find assisted living, independent living, memory care and in-home care. Please call Bill or Brenda today, 623-398-0418 to get started on a solution.

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