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Stress Test? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself when You’re a Family Caregiver

Caregiver in Lincoln CA

Being a family caregiver might seem like an easy assignment, especially in the beginning. If you noticed that your elderly father, grandparent, or some other family member was having difficulty tending to their own care at home, had major surgery and required assistance once they were discharged, or had any other type of health emergency, it might’ve been easy stress-test-for-caregiversto step up and volunteer, especially if you live in close proximity to them.

However, as with many of the estimated 44.4 million caregivers taking care of family members in this country, according to AARP, stress can be a side effect of this type of work. Make no mistake, providing any type of care to a senior at home needs to be thought of as a job.

In order to determine whether you are actually dealing with stress as a result of your work as a family caregiver, ask yourself the following five questions.

1. Have you given up time with friends? Many people end up spending more time with their aging family member than doing things that are interesting to them or that they had done on a regular basis. Giving up these interests and this time with family and friends can create stress.

2. Are you devoting less time and energy to your full-time job? If you have a full-time job, you might be getting into work later, leaving earlier, and be distracted while at the job more frequently.

3. Do you experience tight muscles in your shoulders and neck? Stress most commonly physically manifests itself in the upper back, shoulder region, and neck muscles. If these are tight, it’s usually a clear sign that you are experiencing a significant amount of stress on a regular basis.

4. Do you have a tendency to put off going to the senior’s home? In the beginning you might have been stopping by your elderly family member’s house right on schedule, when you told him or her you would be there. Lately, though, you might have a tendency to show up half an hour later, leave an hour earlier than expected, and more. This could very well be a sign of stress.

5. Is your temper running shorter than normal? If you find yourself getting frustrated far too easily with basic things, if you are losing your patience with people, it could very well be a sign of stress directly associated with your work as a family caregiver.

April is Stress Awareness Month, so take some time to recognize the signs and when you do, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Just relying on a professional caregiver for one or two days a week can alleviate a significant amount of stress you feel.

Harmony Home Care provides services for the greater Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado Counties including: Sacramento, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Granite Bay, Roseville, Cameron Park, Placerville and surrounding areas. For more information and a FREE assessment CALL (916) 414-9100.

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