Family caregivers sacrifice a lot of their personal time and private lives to care for an aging relative that needs them. When seniors are no longer able to live independently, there are numerous daily tasks that must be done for them like cleaning, cooking, bathing, dressing, driving and finances.
Family members that step in and help are very generous, but the cost of their service is giving up free time, family time of their own and hobbies, resulting in social isolation and loneliness.
Social Isolation in Family Caregivers is Serious
A person’s free time is valuable in offsetting what many consider to be the daily grind of life. Work, stress, commuting, chores and community problems can drain emotions and leave people feeling low. Engaging in hobbies and fun times with friends and family are the counterbalance to stress. Family caregivers divert their free time to caring for elderly relatives, however, leaving them isolated and lonely.
The reason that family caregivers are so isolated is that the duties and responsibilities of caring for an elderly person take priority over everything else. Dealing with medical issues, emotional issues, physical issues and mental health issues in an aging loved one can dominate even the most well-balanced caregiver’s days and weeks. Soon, it becomes easier to stop taking time for themselves and trying to break away. In no time, family caregivers are stressed, burned out and isolated. all the
Overcoming Caregiver Loneliness and Isolation
When caring for a loved one has taken over a caregiver’s life to the point where they are sacrificing time with friends and family and giving up on hobbies and activities, it’s time to make changes. Caregivers should work hard to reclaim those parts of their life that give them balance and fulfillment.
Some things that family caregivers can do to overcome isolation and loneliness include recognizing that there is a problem. Isolation is often a slippery slope and it may be hard to realize that it is happening until it is too far along. Getting feedback from friends and family members about their behavior can provide valuable insight. Caregivers must take the initiative to make plans for their elderly relative’s care that gives them regular breaks.
One common solution is to hire a home care assistant to come in on a regular basis. Not only can a home care aide cook, clean and do laundry, but they can bathe, dress and groom them as well. These professional aides take excellent care of seniors, giving family caregivers a much needed break that they can take without feeling guilty about leaving.
Family caregivers should not be afraid to focus on their own needs. It doesn’t take away from their dedication and devotion to their aging relative. In fact, regular breaks and social interactions can make family caregivers more attentive, more compassionate and more efficient. Home care assistance is ideal for both seniors and family caregivers.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Bessemer, Al, please contact the caring staff at Senior Legacy Care today. Call us at (205) 380-7418.
Susan Smith, Owner
Susan Smith is the owner of Senior Legacy, an independent non-medical senior in home care business.... Read More...