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Caregiver stress: Don’t forget self-care

key information

source: Mayo Clinic

authors: Jamie L. Friend

summary/abstract:

Maybe you take care of your spouse, who’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Or you’ve been tending to the needs of your mother since she was diagnosed with cancer. Perhaps your child was born with a lifelong condition requiring specialized care. Whatever the circumstances, family caregivers tend to have at least one thing in common: They forget to take care of themselves.
While caring for those you love is important, and can be meaningful, caregiving is stressful work. It can be exhausting, both physically and emotionally. If you don’t take good care of yourself, you won’t have the energy to care for others.

Caregiver burnout
Extended periods of providing care and support for a loved one can affect you in many ways, including:

– Sleeplessness: Stress, anxiety or medical needs from your loved one in the middle of the night can make it difficult to get a good night’s rest.

– Reduced ability to concentrate: With so many tasks and responsibilities to manage you may find it difficult to concentrate. Brain fog makes every task more difficult.

– Mood swings: You may have minor changes in mood. You feel angry one minute and then sad and helpless moments later. Irritability also is common.

 

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