Caring for a loved one can become very exhausting. This is especially the case when that loved one is terminally ill and requires that increased care. Being the primary caregiver for a person suffering from a terminal illness takes a lot of time and energy. Usually, the close relationship between the caregiver and the loved one causes the caregiver to be overly devoted. More often than not, this leads to the caregiver neglecting his/her own health to provide the high-quality care their loved one deserves.
Caregiver stress is the overall decline in mental and physical health that occurs from taking care of a disabled or terminally ill person.
Signs of Caregiver Stress
The symptoms of caregiver stress are very similar to that of clinical depression. You may be suffering from caregivers stress if:
- Tiredness – If you feel tired most of the day.
- Sleeping patterns – If your sleeping patterns have changed dramatically
- Unmotivated – If you aren’t motivated to do the things you once enjoyed
- Weight Changes – If your weight drops or increases significantly
- Irritable – If you are finding yourself being annoyed easily
Coping With Caregiver Stress
Here are ways to cope with the stress of caregiving:
Exercise is beneficial for your physical and mental well-being. The endorphins released while exercising trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.
A balanced diet
A balanced diet keeps you healthy and gives you the energy needed to tackle life’s obstacles
Socializing with friends
The hardest thing to do is to face your problems alone. Spending time with friends and family can be relaxing and uplifting. Spending too much time alone may cause you to be consumed in sorrow.
Don’t be afraid to seek help from family and friends. There are also many professional organizations like Angelle’s Hospice and Palliative Care, which offer a variety of services for end of life care.
It is important to remain healthy while caring for a loved one. It is in good health that you will be able to give the level of care needed to make your loved one comfortable. Be aware of the signs of caregiver stress, and remember there is always help available.