Local experts share the latest information and resources on all things mental health.
Posted: July 28, 2014 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Caring for a family member who is unable to care for him or herself is one of the most stressful, challenging, and loving gifts you can offer another person. Caregiving can provide spiritual and relational rewards, but it can also tax your body, spirit, and emotions like few other efforts. Family caregivers require support from others and time for self-care, but all too often they become overwhelmed, isolated, and unable to get the help they need. A counselor can help family caregivers avoid these pitfalls.
Often, family caregivers are pushed into the role without an opportunity to prepare: a parent may have a medical emergency, such as a stroke or hip fracture, and her care needs fall upon a family member—most often a daughter or daughter-in-law—who has not had an opportunity to process how caregiving will impact her career, family, and other parts of her life. There may be career decisions to make—whether to leave a job, for example.
There may also be additional family stressors: you might have a spouse of children who need attention, or there may be a disagreement among siblings over care decisions. Or your family could be unsupportive, thinking you have “everything under control,” while you feel that you have little or no control over the situation. You may have your own health concerns and need to plan for how to care for yourself in this potentially stressful situation.
If you can relate to any of these scenarios, here are some ways that counseling can help:
Remember, self-care is not selfish! A counselor can help you make a plan and set goals to help both you and the care receiver stay healthy and safe.
Tags: relationship and family