Caregiving

A simple definition of caregiving is caring for someone out of love and compassion especially caring for a loved one. Caregiving can be stressful for many reasons and we will hit on a few as we go along.

Looking at Luke 14:28 is a great place to start your research “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the coast, whether he has enough to complete it?”

One of the first questions I should have asked myself was what will it cost me to be a caregiver for my wife? Not only monetarily but is there other cost to consider?

The caregivers stress burnout quiz will give you answers
to this question and others you may not have considered yet.

Me, Stressed?

If you have to ask you can’t afford it, period. Playing with stress or ignoring it is a deadly game you really don’t want to play. Unchecked stress can develop into a mental or emotional disability for a caregiver.

“The mind and body are connected. When you experience stress, there are a whole range of physiological changes — every organ in the body is affected,” says Vicki Rackner, a clinical faculty member of the University of Washington School of Medicine and the author of Caregiving Without Regrets. “Sustained stress isn’t good for the body, which explains why caregivers frequently die before their care recipient dies.”

Caregivers tending to love ones are usually their own worst critic, it is common and very unhealthy, adding to their stress, depression and anxiety. Feeling guilty, thinking they could do better, all the while showing compassion for other caregivers doing the same job and feeling the same way. Show yourself some compassion, chances or even professional caregivers are not doing as good of job as you are.

Stress Leads To Burnout

What is stress and how can we handle it? What some people consider stress is of little concern to others so, we are painting stress with a pretty wide brush here.

Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline according to Medline Plus Encyclopedia.

Identifying stress in your life is Paramount in dealing with it and there are two trains of thought that we will explore here. First train of thought is being proactive which in my estimation is the best way to deal with stress. Instead of finding cause, find ways to prevent it to begin with.

  • exercise

  • adequate sleep

  • time management

  • join support group

  • meditation

  • make time for yourself

  • avoid drugs and alcohol

These are a few things that will definitely help and here are a couple of things that I do, and the first one I do any way but I try to do it a little different from time to time. Cooking, trying different recipes will help take your mind of the things that stress you out, unless cooking does stress you out. Taking up a hobby, my new hobby is writing and learning to use the computer. You are reading my hobby right now, what do you think?

The second train of thought for dealing with stress is waiting till you are experiencing it and then try to implement the list above, yeah I know it sounds crazy but stress is like weight loss. You can be proactive and not gain weight or wait till your overweight and then try to do something about it. Everyone knows it is tougher to deal with obesity then heading it off at the pass so to speak. Oh, and by the way stress and obesity together is a deadly combination.

I’m not trying to be Dudly Downer here, I’m only trying to open your eyes to things that we ourselves have dealt with.

Anxiety

Anxiety is your body’s response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear about what’s to come. The fear of facing something for the first time alone can be very stressful but there is good news, God is with you.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Oh and by the way, spending quiet time with the Lord and prayer can prevent and or help you deal with stress! The opposite of stress and anxiety is Peace. Peace on earth and good will toward men was announced when Jesus was born and Peace was left to us when Jesus departed.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.

That even sounds better than money back guarantee doesn.t it

Quiz time

As a caregiver, you may be so focused on your loved one that you don’t realize that your own health and well-being are suffering. Watch for these signs of caregiver stress:

  • Feeling overwhelmed or constantly worried
  • Feeling tired often
  • Getting too much sleep or not enough sleep
  • Gaining or losing weight
  • Becoming easily irritated or angry
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Feeling sad
  • Having frequent headaches, bodily pain or other physical problems
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications

Too much stress, especially over a long time, can harm your health. As a caregiver, you’re more likely to experience symptoms of depression or anxiety. In addition, you may not get enough sleep or physical activity, or eat a balanced diet — which increases your risk of medical problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Ref. News from Mayo Clinic.

Casualty

In conclusion, don’t let stress and burnout claim you as a disabled casualty! You can not take care of your loved one if you don’t take care of yourself.

Don’t be a statistic, avoid stress, anxiety, and BURNOUT!

I hope this helps shed light on things you face and I wish you the best year you can have. If you have any questions, suggestions or tips feel free to contact Chuck at extendyoutents.com

Thank you for your time and comments


    1. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the importance of humor and laughter for the well-being of both the caregiver and receiver. Maybe you could write another post on what you’ve experienced. You’re one of the funniest people I know and I can only imagine the enormous benefit your lightheartedness brings to your wife.

      Is there a way I can sign up to be notified when you publish a new post? I’ve really enjoyed reading these!

    2. Chuck,

      First I want to say that it is very admirable to you to take care of your disabled spouse. Most people tend not to deal with it and let other’s do it for them. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, especially if circumstances warrant you having a professional take your place. My mom had a stroke 2 years ago that only affected her brain. Her memory was affected tremendously and she steadily declined into dementia. To this day, she is in further progression of the disease. At first my sister and I would spilt the week in half, taking turns caring for her. It became very hard to do so after about a year, especially for me because I am disabled as well and can’t do the things I was able to do prior to my disability. We decided to hire a caregiver for mom and she’s been with here for nearly a year now. It has worked out well for all of us concerned.

      Your website touches on some really great and informative topics regarding caring for disabled and handicapped individuals.

      I would have actually used a theme that was more along the lines of healthcare but whatever works for you is fine. You have your hands full and you don’t need any more to handle.

      Some of your paragraphs are too long. I would break them up. Audiences do not like to read big paragraphs, so keep them as short as possible. Remember you can have as many as you want.

      Besides being a very informational website, are you promoting and affiliate products? I only saw two affiliate links in your entire site. You really don’t have any way to monetize your business. Did you intend for it to be this way?

      Barbara

      • Hi Barbara, sorry it took so long to respond, I am sorry to hear about your mom and hopefully your able to manage your disability without much difficulty.
        First I would like to thank you for reading and making comments on the website. I welcome any and all constructive critiques, especially by someone who has the experience like yourself both in dealing with disabilities and blogging.
        I will do my best in correcting my writing and monetizing the website.
        Thank you so much and hope you have a great day!

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