The Caregiver Dilemma

Taking care of an elderly or sick member of the family requires a lot of attention. Sometimes in the process the caregiver can neglect them self. This can have consequences on both the care provided and on the individual giving the care.

Personal neglect can result in weight gain/loss, in lower grades (if you are a student) and even in depression.  The impact on a caregiver’s daily life can go unrecognized, so it is important for caregivers to take time for themselves.

Caregivers should try to find support. We all need help, and that is completely normal. So rally family members or friends to take part in some of the care giving responsibilities if possible. While it may seem difficult, the primary caregiver should try to take some time to rejuvenate and this might be when a support system can really help.

Finally, it is okay to express your feelings. Sometimes caregivers can have all sorts of feelings that might go unexpressed due to shame or fear, but they are worth letting out.  As long as the expression of the feeling does not harm the care receiver, it’s okay to be upset. If the caregiver does not communicate their feelings, it can get harder with time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

The Family Care Office will be holding a workshop on February 24th about ‘Healthy Caregiving’. For a detailed description and information on how to register please visit: http://www.familycare.utoronto.ca/events/index.html#EC-healthyCaregiving

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