By Sheree Ellingson, Owner of Senior Helpers and Expert on Seniors
I meet with families every day where the daughter is overwrought and tired from taking care of her parents. Even if it is just a few hours per day and especially if you are the only one taking care of your parent full-time; caregiving takes its toll.
Being someone’s 24-hour caregiver is impossible. One may think, “I’ve got this” but what they don’t understand is they stop taking care of themselves in order to devote all their energies on their parent. I see this happen every day; the daughter stops going to the gym to work out which is her stress reliever; a daughter puts off going to her doctor because she simply doesn’t feel she has time. Here’s a staggering statistic for you. Seventy percent of the time, the caregiver dies before the person they are taking care. Don’t become a statistic.
Caregiver burnout can also cause the caregiver to be short-tempered, angry and sometimes hostile with the parent. It’s really hard to walk away from your parent when you are angry but know they still need your help.
I cannot tell you how many times the daughter has said to me how much she appreciates Senior Helpers coming in to help her and that she wishes she had hired us sooner. Sometimes, by the time they have contacted us the caregiver’s health is already compromised. I really hate when that happens, but we can still help.