March 23, 2016 by Dean Bellefeuille

Caring For the Caregiver

For family members in the Syracuse, NY area who provide care to senior or disabled loved ones, caring for others can feel like your entire world. Caring for the many and varied needs of elderly parents, teenagers, a spouse, a career, pets, a home (or two!) leaves little, if any, time to care for yourself, and can leave you feeling exhausted and stressed. It isn’t just hard to do it all, it’s impossible to do it all equally well, and it’s more than OK to admit that!

If you find yourself experiencing the following symptoms of emotional overload, it may be time to accept some much-needed help via respite care, rather than continuing to shoulder the burden alone:

  1. Anxiety: Feelings of concern or worry are common when providing care for an aging parent, particularly when faced with the unknown and situations that are out of our control.
  2. Guilt: “Am I doing enough? Is there more I should be doing? How can I think of myself when Mom and the kids need me?”
  3. Anger: Anger can quickly manifest from fear and anxiety, and can sometimes be misdirected onto a loved one – resulting in more feelings of guilt and anxiety…a vicious circle.
  4. Grief: As a loved one ages, a sense of loss for the person who once was can be powerful. And watching a loved one continue to decline only exacerbates the feelings.

Caring for a senior loved one is a beautiful and selfless act, but it should never take precedence over your own health. It’s so important for family caregivers to know that this stage of life as a “sandwich generation” caregiver does not have to be – nor, should it be – a solo journey. Accepting help does not mean failure or ineptitude. Partnering with a trusted senior home care agency is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy life balance. Call on At Home Independent Living of Camillus, NY for compassionate senior care; we are here for you every step of the way!