Providing care for the needs of a loved one who is living with a serious illness or chronic medical condition can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. However, at times, it can also present challenges that can lead to feelings of being stressed or overwhelmed, which can ultimately compromise your own health and well-being.
To gauge the level of stress you are experiencing as a family caregiver, consider your experiences during the past few months. Have you felt:
Worried about leaving your loved one at home alone?
Anxious about the financial or health care decisions you are making?
Responsible for doing everything yourself?
Inadequate or that your should be doing more for your loved one?
Frustrated or impatient with your loved one?
Unable to sleep, eat or enjoy activities that once interested you?
More prone to illness or pain such as headaches or backaches?
Unfocused on the task at-hand?
Unable to balance work and family responsibilities?
Withdrawn from other family members and friends?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, it's an indication that you are experiencing a significant degree of stress resulting from your caregiving responsibilities, often known as caregiver burnout.
There are several steps you can take to help manage your stress. First you should consult your physician for a wellness check-up. You should also think about joining a caregiver support group to connect with others who are facing similar challenges.Most importantly, you should consider seeking the assistance of caregiving professionals.
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