Jul 25th, 2010 by Lisa Kendall
Maybe you ache all over. You don’t sleep well. Your head hurts and you just don’t feel like yourself any more. When the doctor says “it’s just stress,” both of you feel frustrated and unsure of what to do next.
It’s time to look more deeply into the very real impact of prolonged or severe stress on our physical and emotional health. If you have been caring for an ill Elder or other loved one, you are especially vulnerable to caregiver stress, which studies show can lead to depression or make you more prone to a range of chronic illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes.
What are some warning signs of stress?
- Are you having trouble with relationships at work or at home?
- Is it difficult to concentrate?
- Do you cry easily?
- Are you short-tempered or irritable?
These are a few of the signs that you may need more help with caregiving and/or additional support for yourself.
Elder care partners generally need three basic things: information, support, and respite — a break from caregiving. Stay tuned to this blog and keep using the internet to gather information and support.
Additionally, your local Office for the Aging has information about resources for caregivers and for Elders; please call the Eldercare Locator toll-free at 1-800-677-1116 to find the office nearest you.
Stress can be managed! There are concrete and practical solutions for you, your family, and your Elder.
Reach out to learn about the tools that can improve your health and relationships, and don’t feel you have to do the big job of Eldercare alone!
If you ever feel you want to harm yourself or someone else, please don’t hesitate to call your local emergency services at 911, go to the hospital emergency room, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK for immediate help.
Lisa Kendall is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in Elder Care Partner issues.