Caring for the Caregiver: Why Staying Social Is Important for Your Health

Caring for the CaregiverLet’s be genuine: providing care for an elderly family member is often tiring, stressful, and isolating. When caregiving requirements advance, particularly if a long-term disease such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease is at play, family care providers may feel as if they’re in over their heads, and getting through the standard elements of the daytime – showering, cooking food, running errands – can seem to be a hurdle too great to leap. Caring for the caregiver sadly often falls to the bottom of the to-do list.

According to Carey Wexler Sherman, a gerontologist at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, “Caregiving is done with a lot of love and affection, but there’s a lot of loss involved. People talk about friends disappearing, about even family members not wanting to be involved. It’s a lonely business.”

Because of this, a large number of family care providers tend to isolate themselves. It’s tough to organize social outings without knowing what type of day Mom or Dad will be facing. It’s equally challenging to invite friends over and face the potential need to cancel plans at the last minute. Sometimes it just seems easier to attempt to manage everything on your own. Senior geriatric social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, Barbara Moscowitz, shares feedback she listens to from family members caring for a senior loved one with dementia: “They say, ‘I’m exhausted trying to explain to people why she’s doing what she’s doing, why they shouldn’t be angry or afraid. It’s just easier to stay home.”

Unfortunately, we know that social isolation and loneliness are connected with really serious health risks: heart disease, stroke, depression, and also a more significant prevalence of developing dementia or dying early. Caring for the caregiver is essential, both for the individual being cared for and the family members offering that care.

At Home Independent Living is readily available in Syracuse, NY to provide support in so many ways, through hands-on assistance with all facets regarding elder caregiving, preparing meals, keeping the house tidy, running errands, and so much more – allowing family members much-needed time to themselves to spend with good friends and in enjoyable, relaxing activities – ensuring the wellbeing of all family members.

Contact us at 315.579.HOME (4663) any time for the professional in-home care help you can rely on, providing you the chance to regain a healthy life balance while knowing your senior loved one is in the very best hands.