What is a Caregiver?

The role of caregiving can encompass many paths. Some might take daily care of an aging relative, some might take turns supporting a sick loved one who lives independently, and yet others have children with special needs. Some caregivers even arrange services or help from another state. With so many different approaches to caregiving, it can be confusing to learn what steps make the most sense for your situation.

A caregiver provides support (physical, social, or otherwise) to an aging friend, relative, or disabled person. Regardless of the tasks, caregivers take a significant amount of their time, energy, and sometimes resources and use them to care for another who needs their help.

caregiver take care of senior patient

The Emotional Impacts of Caregiving

Many caregivers report having a wide array of feelings while caring for their family members. Of course, positive emotions go hand in hand with helping another who needs it. Many caregivers report that their feelings of love for their family members are enhanced. And still, others feel caregiving is a "thank you" and repayment for when they received care from a family member.

On the other hand, many difficulties come with being a constant caretaker. Feeling isolated, physical fatigue, worrying if the care you are giving is enough, sadness because the person you love is changing, guilt if you can't handle everything, and confusion about how to receive help are all feelings that caregivers have mentioned.

Additionally, caregivers may resent the person they are caring for, fear how long they can continue to provide care, be frustrated at the loss or lack of time to keep up with life demands and be disappointed that their life isn't how they planned.

If you experience these feelings, know that you are not alone. Even so, these emotional responses can be overwhelming and challenging to process. This is not only understandable but common. Caregiver exhaustion occurs frequently. You may feel drained, have less energy, sleep less, experience anger or frustration, feel trapped, and be hesitant to find outside help while solely focusing on caregiving. Knowing these are all signs of caregiver fatigue means you will recognize what to look for to signal you need a break.

caregiver talking chatting to happy senior man in hallway

How Can You Overcome Caregiver Fatigue?

Overcoming caregiver fatigue can come in many forms. Here are a few ways that you can preemptively take care of yourself:

  • Share decision-making with other trusted people
  • Remember your needs and interests
  • Understand your loved one's condition and gather information on care and treatment options
  • Involve others by sharing caregiving responsibilities
  • Talk about your feelings and experiences with a trusted person
  • Be flexible with plans, perceptions, and emotions

Most of all, realize that help is available. Whether this is from other family members or health care professionals, you don't have to do everything alone. There are community services that can help. These options include adult day care, home care, hospice care, legal and financial services, long-term care, meal programs, rehabilitation programs, respite care programs, support groups, and transportation programs.

It is easy to feel you can't provide everything as a caregiver. While time, talent, and resources are all factors, the most important thing is your willingness to serve. Do what you can and ask for help with the rest. Just being there for the person you love is what matters most.

How Can Deano's Senior Transit Help?

Our mission is to deliver first-class service to our senior clients with on-time arrival and short wait times for returns. Deano's Senior Transit offers the cleanest vehicles in the area and uses the latest technology for a pleasant experience. To request a ride, contact us or give us a call today to get started!

Deanos Senior Transit Van