Caring for The Elderly- A Stressful Job
Taking care of an elderly person is stressful to say the least. By the time you accept the fact that you are required to take care of the aging parent, your help is urgently needed. You have some catching up to do in the role of a primary caregiver to your elderly parent, in the form of controlling their finances and lifestyle and taking stock of their medical situation. (“Caring For the Elderly – Dealing with The Stressful Job”)
Very often, neither the caregiver nor the person being cared for has volunteered for the job. The caregiver may not like to be burdened with the additional responsibility. The senior citizen may be hostile, resistant, or downright disagreeable causing much stress to both the individuals involved. Since these may be your parents you are taking care of, you are used to obeying their instructions. But since the roles have now been reversed, the fact is difficult to accept for both, the parent, and the child. (“Guide To Dealing and Caring Elderly”)
You may have certain expectations from your siblings or your own ambitious standards. When these expectations are not met, it leads to frustration. (“Guide To Dealing and Caring Elderly”) As a caregiver, one must learn to compromise. Your parents may need constant attention which you may not be able to provide. Realistically speaking, spending as much time as possible with your aged parents after taking care of your family, your job, housework, and yourself, would be a reasonable expectation. (“Guide To Dealing and Caring Elderly”)
The individual entrusted with the role of primary caregiver must recognize that the stress levels in his life will increase. Stress is deemed to be one of the major causes of mental or physical health problems in adults. When stress levels begin to overwhelm you and become difficult to cope, you may end up with health problems of your own. (“Caring For the Elderly – Dealing with The Stressful Job”) This is not the best of situations, as this will affect you as well as the person being cared for and even the rest of the family.
It is a struggle for one person to manage the job of looking after the aged parents. The family of the caregiver should be supportive and involve themselves in the activity as much as possible, to share the burden. If you are not living close to your aged parents, and your sibling is looking after them, make efforts to help as much as possible by calling up the parents regularly or helping in any other way you can. (“Caring For the Elderly – Dealing with The Stressful Job”)
“Avoid nagging suggestions to the caregiver, even though they may be meant for the good of the parents.” (“Dealing With a Stressful Job | Now Hiring”) “Make sure to communicate your gratefulness and support to your sibling so that he or she is not made to feel alone in this endeavor.” (“Caring For the Elderly – Dealing with The Stressful Job”)
As an individual, you can deal with the stress levels yourself. Your aged parents depend on you, being the primary caregiver. So, it is as much your duty to take care of yourself for their sake. (“Caring For the Elderly – Dealing with The Stressful Job”) This way you can be a better caregiver, lead a stress-free life and take care of all your responsibilities as well. This should be the healthy approach to elderly care, if it is to be long term responsibility that you will need to fulfill.
Best Wishes, Coyalita
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
See Tomorrow: “The Basics of Personal Hygiene for The Elderly”
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