There are some studies that show a spouse who is giving care to a loved one has a better chance of developing a health related problem that they may feel obligated to ignore. Caregivers that take responsibility for their parents in home assistance may also ignore their own health in order to provide the necessary attention to their loved one. Both groups seem to think that the one needing the care should come first but this isn’t necessarily the best line of thinking to follow.
Caregivers must remember that if they are set back by a condition that could have been avoided, they will be unable to offer their family member any help. If you are in either group there are strategies you should adhere to for your own well being. You need to schedule certain times of the day that are for breaks from care giving that will allow you to focus on your own needs.
Older spouses seem to be at the greatest risk. They have less energy to begin with and can be worn down and more likely to develop colds. They may also be susceptible to potentially serious ailments like the flu. Providing full time attention for a loved one can be both trying and highly stressful.
Some of this stress can be avoided by enlisting the help of a professional senior care service provider. An experienced home health aide can relieve family members of some of the more stressful duties of senior care such as administration of medication and meal preparation.
Something as simple as sitting down and watching TV undisturbed an hour a day can offer great relief from the stressful full time care environment. A simple walk for thirty minutes can benefit young and old alike and contribute to better health. Taking a break from your duties as a caregiver will allow you to continue to provide care to loved ones in need.