There can be many emotional effects of caring for an elderly parent. While you may feel a sense of warmth at times, as you’re helping the person(s) that raised you, there can be a lot of stress when it comes to caregiving for a loved one. Family caregiver stress is a very real thing, and it can lead to caregiver burnout. However, there are some ways you can make negative emotions a little less stressful. Read on to learn about caregiver fatigue symptoms, how to manage stress, and some of the feelings you may be feeling when it comes to caretaking for a loved one.
The Emotional Effects of Caring for an Elderly Parent: Are You Burnt Out?
Stress management for caregivers is a very important aspect of caregiving, and it can help mitigate the negative emotional effects of caring for an elderly parent. The symptoms of caregiver burnout are very similar to that of depression and may include:
- Lowered immunity (getting sick more often)
- Physical exhaustion
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Avoiding activities you once enjoyed
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Feeling irritable
- Changes in appetite and sleep patterns
- Wanting to hurt yourself or your loved one
If you’re experiencing one or some of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk to your primary care physician.
The Emotional Effects of Caring for an Elderly Parent: Burnout Prevention
If you’re really feeling the stress of looking after your elderly parents, you may want to try some techniques or services that can help ease some of your stress. If respite services are available for your loved one, use them. This can give you some free time to relax and regroup. Talking to someone you trust, like a family member, friend, or therapist, can help get some of your feelings out. Also, make sure you take time for self-care. You’re not neglecting your loved ones if you do so—you can’t take adequate care of them if you can’t take care of yourself. A support group may also be a good idea to help relieve the negative emotional effects of caring for an elderly parent.
The Emotional Effects of Caring for an Elderly Parent: Negative Feelings
You may be feeling many negative emotions, which can often bring guilt and frustration. Remember that it’s okay to feel your feelings, and they are valid. Some of the emotions you may be experiencing include:
- Anger. You may be feeling stuck and trapped or just plain angry. Try to find good ways to get your anger out (such as exercise), give yourself a time-out, and walk away if you feel too frustrated.
- Anxiety. Caring for an elderly parent can be difficult, particularly if their condition is declining. You may feel out of control with your anxiety. Talk to a therapist if possible, or try meditation or breathing exercises at home.
- Depression or sadness. It’s perfectly normal to feel depressed, and this is one of the primary negative emotional effects of caring for an elderly parent. Talk to your physician, and find constructive activities to help get your mind off caregiving, such as exercise.
- Negative emotions. Other emotions you may feel include guilt, disgust, ambivalence, grief, frustration, irritability, impatience, resentment, and more. Remember that it’s normal to feel any of these.
The Emotional Effects of Caring for an Elderly Parent: Caregiver Resources
If they have some mobility issues, you may want to consider mobility products that help your loved one be more comfortable, such as a recliner lift chair or stairlift.
However, there are some associations that can help if you’re feeling burnt out:
You may also be able to find local resources in or near your town.
To learn more about the emotional effects of caring for an elderly parent, or about mobility products that can help lessen the burden, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want both caregivers and their loved ones to live their best lives.