You’ve read the title correctly, caregivers caring TOO much. Does this act exist? Is it realistic to believe people can be overly caring? Caregiving creates a hectic lifestyle littered with spontaneous panic episodes accompanied by feelings of gratitude and usefulness. Caregivers accept FULL responsibility for the well-being of another and become fixated on this task. Care provided by a third-party is subpar and lacks vigor, mindfulness, and competency.
Our empathetic nature is both a blessing and curse. Minds and bodies are exhausted creating safe, secure environments. We refuse the help of others by deeming them incapable. It’s this controlling nature causing adrenal exhaustion, depression, and stressful living environments. Why do we foster this unhealthy atmosphere? Why do we allow the care-recipient become a dependent? Why is our way the ONLY right way?
Empathetic personalities feel emotions of living things on a personal level. Their feelings become our feelings. The burnout phase occurs when caregivers are unable to separate their needs from the care-recipient’s needs. Denying ourselves deserved help creates inescapable stressful environments. Our bodies are constantly in the “fight or flight” stage and unable to manage stress. We suffer from adrenal fatigue similar to an athlete training for the Olympics. However, a caregiver’s stress doesn’t end after the event is won. It continues for days, months, or years.
Caring is not unhealthy, but the degree to which you care can wreak havoc on your body. Caregivers must realize…
- they’re entitled to a break even though the care-recipient is their primary responsibility.
- their care methods, while effective, are not the only solutions.
- relatives and friends are competent and can provide short-term care for loved-ones.
- creating a co-dependent isn’t healthy for the care-recipient.
Making decisions based solely on emotion results in fatigue, burnout, and an unsatisfactory care environment. Make decisions with your mind using logic and factual information. Realizing needs enables caregivers to effectively care for loved-ones without destroying their own health. Being empathetic is a great gift, but an overly caring caregiver will make the journey more stressful and less fulfilling. Step back and observe the situation. Listen to others and open your mind to new ideas. Caregiving isn’t a life sentence. It’s a life obstacle testing your mind, body, and soul. Embrace your experience. Good luck!
Emphasizing and satisfying the needs of care-recipients and caregivers will achieve a balanced lifestyle. Caregiving is a challenging but rewarding experience requiring dedication, devotion, and support. Empathetic caregivers provide nurturing and secure care environments for care-recipients. Support systems recognizing caregivers’ needs foster safe, quality care.
Caregiving is dependent upon,
1.) meeting the demands and honoring the dignity of the care-recipient.
2.) respecting the needs and integrity of the caregiver.
When these demands and needs are recognized, caregiving becomes less daunting and more fulfilling. The following list of DO’S AND DON’TS will bring balance and success to your caregiving journey.
- Encourage the patient to be independent and helpful. Avoid treating the care-recipient like an incompetent child unable to accomplish simple tasks.
- Ask the patient’s opinion on health care concerns. Avoid talking in front of the care-recipient as if inexistent and oblivious to the discussion.
- Support the patient’s need for togetherness and family time. Avoid isolation from family and friends. Allow time for socializing.
- Do activities promoting cognitive thinking and fine motor skills. Avoid reliance on TV and technology for mental stimulation.
- Empathize with the patient’s emotions. Avoid being cold and aloof. Show understanding toward feelings of helplessness and depression.
- Discuss with the patient your need for alone time. Avoid allowing the care-recipient to become clingy and completely dependent.
- Involve family and friends in the caregiving process. Don’t become overwhelmed by care responsibilities.
- Show concern for your emotional and physical stress. Avoid adrenal fatigue and burnout.
- Discuss with family and friends your need for respite care. Don’t assume you can provide effective care without breaks from your hectic daily schedule.
- Treasure the caregiving experience. It brings new perspective to caring and relationships. Don’t view caregiving as a never-ending burden.
Acknowledging care-recipients’ needs and caregivers’ wants will create life balance. Balance creates harmony during the caregiving experience. Listen to the patient and voice your concerns. Awareness of all feelings and needs in a relationship allows for a smoother, more fulfilling journey. Thank you for reading and good luck!
Reading articles emphasizing the benefits of technology in caregiving motivated me to learn more about caregiving apps. When my caregiving journey began, cell phones were in their infant stages and apps were non-existent. Cell phones now occupy most households and allow people to browse the internet, research questionable topics, and engage in social networking from any location. Applying technology to home healthcare integrates balance and organization into caregivers’ hectic schedules. Below is a list of caregiving websites with downloadable apps for your browsing enjoyment.
- Alzheimer’s Caregiver Buddy
- Stress is Gone, LLC.
- Personalized Dimentia Solutions Inc.
Utilize these available resources and make life less erratic. Thank you for looking in! Please share!