Caregiver stress occurs when a parent is longer able to live alone, and they need constant assistance from their family to keep them in their house. This assistance usually comes from the children of the ill senior. Many times the adult child has their own family, and their own set of responsibilities. This is known as being part of the sandwich generation. You are a child of the baby boomer generation, and now have children of your own while taking care of ailing parents. Being pulled in two different directions causes a lot of stress and can be difficult to deal with. What happens is the family caregiver becomes stressed.
Caregiver Stress Happens Often
Women generally are more likely to become stressed out, because they are more often the ones in the family caregiver role. Many times women have a difficult time expressing your feelings, that it is very stressful being a sandwich caregiver. Do not let negative thoughts overwhelm you. You are a good parent and an even better daughter and you are doing the best you can. Just because you are stressed does not mean you are not doing an excellent job.
Signs of Caregiver Stress
When other family members are not helping with their share of the care giving it is very common to become stressed. Some of the emotional signs are:
- Anger that care giving becomes your job and not anyone else’s
- Easily frustrated with your parent or siblings
- Feeling guilty that you can’t do more for your parent
- Loneliness when your social time with friends is limited
Caregiver stress can also have physical effects as well. Weight gain, exhaustion, headaches, and getting sick more often are all signs of stress, and often are complaints from caregivers.
Eliminating Caregiver Stress
- Vacation. Take a vacation and take a weekend trip outside of Massachusetts to another New England community. It can relieve stress, and allow you time to see your friends and family. Home care companies offer respite care for these situations.
- Discussing the Situation with Siblings. If the burden is no on you, it’s time to get other family members including siblings involved. There are many ways siblings can support each other even if they live far away
- Hire Help. You don’t have to so this on your own. Hiring help for a few hours a week, to full live in care is always an option if you do not have the time, or ability to take care of the ones you love.
Minute Women Inc. is a private home care provider for the Boston and metro-west area. If you have any questions about our in home care services, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800- HOME CARE. We can help lower caregiver stress and provide respite care.