Caregiving has always been important to friends, family, and communities. Still, over the last and a half years, caregiving has gained much value and significance. The need for caregiving has intensified, expanding the market and impact of caregiving on work and life.
All of this puts all the new stressors on caregivers. Far from the drain, caregiving is complex and consists of mixed experiences that re quire a lot of understanding, support and focus.
Studies emphasize the stress caregiving may cause. It can be exhausting for the caregiver- physically, cognitively, and emotionally-due to the lack of time, boundaries, or even the emotional toll of caring, which is why caregiver support has become a need of the hour.
To shed some light on the same, we interviewed a home care industry expert to bring her perspective on lending a hand of support to those who provide care- the caregivers.
Who Did We Interview?
Dr. Eboni Green is an author, caregiver supporter, caregiver advocate, and co-founder. Over the last two decades, she has led Caregiver Support Services, completed her Ph.D., and authored three books.
Dr. Green believes that patients need strong caregivers to guide them through recovery. However, caregivers, too, need advocates to provide valuable answers and resources to provide quality care. Anyone who might find themselves as a caregiver must know that support is crucial for the safety, confidence, and well-being of those who care.
Let’s get started with knowing what our expert thinks of the home care industry:
I think it is important that caregivers know and are reminded that it is perfectly okay to experience emotions as they arise. Sometimes as a caregiver, you do not feel strong.
It is normal to experience challenging times, not knowing what to do, and sometimes feeling like giving up. Reaching out to your support system, asking for something specific you need, and taking time to process your feelings.
Asking for and accepting help is the key to longevity.
As a caregiver who loves being able to take care of the elderly is sure to feel overwhelmed at some point in time. Some tips that can help ensure you provide quality care while preventing burnout, which are:
Nothing is more important than making sure you are practicing self-care. This may mean that there are certain tasks that you hire an agency or provider to perform.
Reach out to other caregivers via online support groups or chats. Connecting with caregivers gives you a sense of community. Other individuals are likely to experience similar challenges in their caregiving situation.
Be sure to balance your time in chats so that you spend some time talking about positive aspects of caregiving. You don’t want to get in the habit of always looking at your situation as challenging and stressful. If you constantly feel lonely or distressed for an extended period you will want to reach out to your doctor as some caregivers experience depression.
There are a lot of people who stick with caregiving because they love helping people. I don’t think this trend contributes to the shortage. Rather, there is work to be done with supporting, recognizing, training, and retaining individuals who dedicate their lives to caring for others.
At first, caregiving can feel like driving in a foreign country without a road map. But othUnderstanding starts with solid education about dementia. Changing behaviors are usually associated with an unmet need. For example, if your loved one or client is pacing, perhaps the cause is needing to go to the bathroom or feeling hungry. A loved one or client might be afraid to bathe and become aggressive as a result.
Training will help you better understand the nuances of caring for a loved one or client who has a diagnosis of dementia.
Overall, caregiving is a critical part of a strong society. Caregivers who provide support to the elderly may also need help at some point of time.
Our expert Dr. Eboni Green believes that caregivers, family members, and agency owners must support, trust, reach out for help, and pull one another in difficult times. This holds true not only for caregiving but also for individual and collective well-being.
We hope you found this expert Q&A as insightful as we did and had something to take away from.
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