What are the Demanding Aspects of Home-Based Care?
Aging persons who require assistance with day-to-day activities can hire a formal caregiver or have a family member, friend, or neighbor become their caregiver.
Formal caregivers are typically Registered Nurses (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA). They are paid for the assistance and care they provide to patients in their homes (instead of traditional healthcare settings such as hospitals or nursing homes).
However, approximately 15 million adults in the US are informal caregivers for a family member with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. In addition, about 48 million caregivers provide care for loved ones, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP.
Many people also decide to become paid caregivers to their family members.
One of the most demanding aspects of home-based care involves emotional and physical demands on caregivers.
Research shows that caregivers are mainly spouses and female family members. Many caregivers report various negative effects of caregiving on their mental and physical health. In addition, caregiver stress may lead to burnout – a state of complete mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion.
Also, caregiving can take a toll on a caregiver’s rest and sleep, social life, leisure time, and well-being in general.
Dealing with dementia, mental health issues, or behavioral challenges in aging adults can be overwhelming physically and emotionally.
To relieve caregiver stress, learn about the loved one’s condition so that you can respond to their needs more effectively.
Also, set boundaries and learn to practice self-care. Stay physically active and consider mindfulness meditation, as these self-care strategies can help you relax and manage caregiver stress.
Stay socially active as friends and family can provide significant support while managing caregiver stress.
If you feel continuously exhausted, irritable, and unable to rest, you may be experiencing caregiver burnout. Address your concerns with your doctor to prevent long-term harm caregiver stress can cause to your physical and emotional well-being.