It is one of the most challenging times in a person’s life. They are the principal caregiver for a loved one. It’s an exhausting, stressful, lonely and guilt ridden season. I know a few caregivers and the overwhelming impression that I get from them is that they just want others to know what they go through.
Most people who are caregivers don’t even expect help – they simple need someone to listen to them – really listen – without trying to offer solutions. They need compassion and empathy. It is a monumental task that they have undertaken and they just want to be understood. With the input of those in my life who caregive, I have compiled a list of the biggest areas of frustration.
>They worry about whether or not they are doing the right thing for their loved one.
>They worry that they are neglecting their spouse and children.
>They regularly feel overwhelmed by stress.
>They forget to take care of their own needs.
>If they have the help of skilled staff, the interruptions can cause even more chaos and disruption.
>They are trying to keep up with their own finances along with the complications of taking care of their loved one’s finances.
>They feel tied down and very lonely.
>For a caregiver who is dealing with a form of dementia in their loved one, being asked the same thing over and over is exhausting and can provoke frustration and anger. Also, dementia is an evolving disease and requires the caregiver to be constantly learning new ways to handle their loved one’s challenges.
>They lose their patience and then feel guilty.
>They have really high expectations of themselves and often feel like they are failing their loved one.
If you are available to assist, make a sincere offer but caregiving is a lonely ministry and often they really just need someone to listen. To all of the caregivers out there – I admire you – you are amazing and my hope is that you will one day hear the words “well done, good and faithful servant”.
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