While many would gladly be a caregiver for a loved one, this role can have hidden costs that most don’t understand at first glance. Most accept being a caregiver without a second thought, it is a gift from the heart to someone you love.
Others take on the role with a sense of duty and obligation. But each caregiver should understand the costs that are involved, as going into it with open eyes may help one to be more aware and realistic of the responsibilities.
Most caregivers will admit that this role is not easy. They often experience some type of level of stress. It may be worrying about their loved one’s health and overall well-being, worrying about finances or trying to take care of the home and everything else while they keep life in balance. One in 4 caregivers admits that their relationships have become strained due to their role as a caregiver. They may not be able to see friends, belong to the same social groups and activities or volunteer projects that they usually do. Caring for someone every day – all day – is often draining and takes up a lot of your time. As a caregiver is it often easy to put yourself second and to put their needs ahead of yours.
Everyone knows being a caregiver is hard work, but some don’t realize that most caregivers put in at least 10 hours taking care of their loved one. This can be in addition to a full-time job, other family obligations and priorities. It is easy to understand why a caregiver’s stress level would be higher than someone else’s.
If you know a caregiver, one of the best things you can be for them is reliable in whatever you have said that you would do. Even if you have made plans to go have a night out to enjoy a movie, it may seem like a small thing to you to cancel, but for a caregiver they have probably had to make special arrangements to spend time with you. Being reliable in whatever you do is one of the best ways that you can be a good friend to a caregiver.