August 10, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

female caregiver looking out window

Who would imagine that spending so much time caring for someone else could also cause you to feel incredibly alone? The hard truth of the matter is that caregiving can be extremely isolating, for several reasons:

  • Mental or physical exhaustion: you’re simply too drained to want to socialize
  • Guilt over enjoying time away from the individual in your care
  • Bitterness toward those whose lives seem so much simpler
  • And more

No matter what the source of the isolation you might be feeling as a caregiver, it is essential to take measures to overcome it. Social isolation and loneliness can lead to serious health issues, including heart disease, depression, stroke, high blood pressure, and problems with memory and attention, just to name a few.

Our home care experts recommend starting today with implementing one or more of these tips for caregivers to overcome loneliness:

  • Start the day with a positive mindset. It may take some effort to start if you’ve been feeling down for some time. A great way to begin is with 15 minutes of energy-boosting activity. Make it something satisfying, rather than one more chore to add to your routine. For example, start by jumping on a small trampoline or following along with an upbeat exercise video.
  • Tell family and friends how you feel. People may assume you’re too busy in your caregiving role to want to spend time with them. Let them know you are feeling isolated and lonely and would enjoy some company.
  • Initiate conversations with strangers. It is amazing how such a simple thing as talking with someone in the grocery store checkout line can lift your spirits. Offer a compliment, such as how pretty the person’s jacket is, or commiserate on the need to unload your purchases in the drenching rain.
  • Watch the way you speak to yourself. Your internal dialogue plays a huge role on your mood. Pay attention to your thoughts. If they are constantly negative or filled with worries and anxiety, try purposely shifting your mindset. Find three positive things to be thankful for, and focus on those. When the negativity creeps back in, come up with three more. It might take some effort at first but will soon become second nature.
  • Find a caregiver support group. You might be surprised to find how many people feel the same as you do. In supporting and encouraging each other, you’ll have the opportunity to make some new friends who can understand and empathize with the journey you are on.

Needless to say, incorporating more socialization into your life as a caregiver isn’t effortless. It entails finding a reliable source for respite from your caregiving tasks to enable you to step away and care for your own personal needs. Fortunately, At Home Independent Living offers the ideal solution. Contact us, and together we will develop a plan to guarantee the best care for the older adult you love and a healthier life balance for you as well. Call us at (315) 579-HOME (4663), and discover how we provide the kind of respite care Syracuse, NY and nearby areas trust most. To learn more about all of the communities we serve, please visit our Service Area page.