Caregivers often don’t recognize when they are in over their heads, and often get to a breaking point. After a prolonged period of time, caregiving can become too difficult to endure any longer. Short-term, the caregiver can handle it. Long-term, support is needed. Outside help at this point is often necessary.
A typical pattern with an overloaded caregiver may unfold as follows:
• 1 to 18 months–the caregiver is confident, has everything under control and is coping well. Other friends and family are lending support.
• 20 to 36 months–the caregiver may be taking medication to sleep and control mood swings. Outside help dwindles away and except for trips to the store or doctor, the caregiver has severed most social contacts. The caregiver feels alone and helpless.
• 38 to 50 months–Besides needing tranquilizers or antidepressants, the caregiver’s physical health is beginning to deteriorate. Lack of focus and sheer fatigue cloud judgment and the caregiver is often unable to make rational decisions or ask for help.
It is often at this stage that family or friends intercede and find other solutions for care. This may include respite care, hiring home health aides or putting the disabled loved one in a facility. Without intervention, the caregiver may become a candidate for long term care as well…read the entire article by going to the link below
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