Did you know that if you are a female between the ages of 35 and 54, you are part of a growing generation called “the sandwich generation?” A recent study from the New York Academy of Medicine reported surprising facts about a certain demographic of women who feel “sandwiched” between their responsibilities both to their children and as a Family Caregiver to their aging parents or grandparents.
You are not alone.
It is important to know that if you fit inside that generation, that you are not alone. The study found that there are approximately 43 million women in America who report feelings of stress caused by providing home health care to a loved one.
The study, which focused on the challenges that women who are both mothers and caregivers face, included interviews with social workers and a journaling project. Results found that 24 percent of the women who submitted weekly journals about their feelings and experiences said they didn’t know who to turn to for help in their day-to-day responsibilities as a caregiver.
One of the professionals in charge of the study noted that “women will increasingly find themselves shouldering heavier caregiving burdens, but they don’t have to do it alone.” He also commented that women think they need to be self-reliant and believe they are able to handle it all. As such, they often don’t know that health professionals and other family members can help ease the daily stress.
Be aware of your stress levels
Caregiver stress is something that doctors say can not only cause physical and emotional strain for the caregiver themselves, but it can also hinder the quality of care they are able to give to their loved one. Side effects of stress can include anger, sadness, exhaustion, guilt and anxiety. If you experience these types of side effects, it may be time to look into asking other family members for assistance.
The important thing to remember is that you are not “unloading” your responsibilities or admitting that you cannot handle them. You are simply asking for help. Family members can relieve your stress by giving you an extra hour at your own home with your family, by providing companionship, preparing a meal twice a week, helping with light housekeeping, errands or grocery shopping.
These tasks are all things a home health service would come in handy for as well. No matter where the help comes from, any partnership in your role as a caregiver will ease your stress.
We can help.
Asking for help in caregiving isn’t a sign of failure or weakness. It shows that you are truly committed to providing your loved one with the best care possible and that sometimes starts with a focus on you.
The health professionals at Freudenthal Home Health know your priorities include your loved one, and helping you give them the quality of life and support they need is our priority. Contact us today to find out all of the ways we can be your partner in caregiving.