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Family Caregiving: When It’s Time to Seek Professional Help

By Jonathan Wells, 6:16 pm on

As a family caregiver, it can be hard to admit when you need help from outside. You want to give back to your aging parent or loved one, caring for them as they once did for you. However, even as a dedicated and loving family member, you may also have a sinking feeling that caring for your loved one has become more than you can handle on your own. Signs that you may need professional help include but are not limited to the following:

  • Physical pain and injury. This one is perhaps the most obvious. Once you’ve strained your back while giving a bath or changing your loved one’s linens out from under them, there’s no question that you need help because you can no longer perform these routine care activities on your own. If you don’t know when not to play the hero, you may find yourself in someone else’s care as well. Click here to learn about hourly home care in Douglas County and see how respite services can help ensure your health without sacrificing the quality of care being provided to your loved one.
  • Changes in sleep pattern. We sometimes fail to associate changes in sleep pattern with the burden of caregiving because of today’s fast pace of life. As a result, insomnia or excessive sleep can manifest themselves at times when we’re not occupied with care responsibilities and reasonably be blamed on other issues. If you find yourself falling asleep at unusual times or in unusual situations, or if you are unable to sleep throughout the night because of constant worry, it’s time to take stock of just how much you’ve taken on as caregiver and what might reasonably be delegated to a professional caregiver in Douglas County.
  • Emotional instability. Facing the prospect or imminent reality of a loved one’s declining health understandably causes caregivers and other family members to become distraught at times. But increased irritability, lashing out or crying over minor day-to-day crises may be a sign of burnout. Be honest with yourself about the toll the responsibility may be taking on your emotional health and on your relationships with others.

Above all, family caregivers need to realize that they can only care for others as successfully as they care for themselves. There’s a reason why airplane flight crews always instruct passengers to place the oxygen mask over their own faces before assisting other passengers! Likewise, it is of paramount importance to acknowledge and seek any help that you may need in order to do the best possible job as caregiver and assure the best possible outcome for your loved one.

Interested in seeking local support services? Visit our website at www.douglascountyhomecareassistance.com or contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable Care Managers at 720-441-3522. We’re here to help 24/7 whether you simply want to have a conversation or you’re interested in schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.