Support for the Caregiver

Posted on

Mar 29, 2022

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So often today, we are reminded of the importance to take care of ourselves and plan me time each day to refresh and recharge. However, many people caring for a senior loved one feel unable to find much alone time and risk feeling emotionally burned out from caregiving. Combine that with the heavy strain on their physical and financial well-being, and its easy to see why caregivers often struggle. Research has shown that caregivers frequently deal with feelings of anger, guilt and isolation from family and friends. They also may experience physical symptoms, including exhaustion, loss of appetite, weight loss/gain, heartburn, suppressed immune system and more. Numerous studies have shown that increased levels of stress can lead to high blood pressure, which could ultimately lead to a stroke or heart attack.
"Caregiving is one of the most difficult challenges that families will face. It affects a family physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is important to notify your healthcare provider of any caregiver challenges that you face," said Dr. R. Scott DeLong, Geriatrician with LGHP Geriatrics and the Medical Director at Spang Crest, a Luthercare community.
The good news is that there are ways to combat the stress of caregiving. Knowing youre not alone is very important. Joining a local support group and becoming part of a community of people going through shared experiences can offer you encouragement, information and optimism and combat feelings of isolation. Many senior living communities, including Spang Crest, hold monthly support groups. Look for one near you.
Its OK to ask for help from other family members and friends. They may not realize the responsibilities you are carrying. By scheduling caregiving assistance from others, you can run errands, socialize or simply take a walk around the neighborhood to return feeling renewed and better able to care for your loved one. Additionally, reaching out to a trusted friend, neighbor, relative, or clergy member for emotional support can be a much-needed resource. Finally, reach out to a local senior living community or a senior advisor for suggestions on where to turn for additional help.
Editors Note: This article was contributed by Nicole Lithgow, Admissions & Marketing Coordinator at Spang Crest, a Luthercare senior living community in Lebanon, PA and Amy Kenn, Luthercares Communications Director.

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