It is a special person who becomes a healthcare professional. They are nurturing, kind, and generous with their time and patience. Every day they go to work and care for another person’s needs. Over the past couple of years, with the pandemic creating new challenges for communities throughout the country and the world, the importance of caregivers and their incredible sacrifices has brought about new meaning in how they impact our lives.
According to the American Geriatrics Society, at least 29 percent of people 65 and older, or 38.2 million adults, receive assistance for health or functioning reasons. [i] Caregiving is not just for sick people during a pandemic or the elderly. It also includes childcare and other forms of healthcare encompassing a broad spectrum of ages, from mental health to emotional support. They are very busy, and the profession is often understaffed, forcing caregivers to put in significantly more time on the job.
One aspect of caregiving that we do not hear much about is the negative effects that occur due to the stress of the job. Caregiving has the potential to adversely affect those involved, like chronic stress, depression, anxiety, obesity, financial issues, and more, if the symptoms are not addressed. Our efforts to support caregivers are not just about rewarding them with positive words, awards, and honors. It is also about recognizing when they have experienced too much, are overworked, are struggling to manage their finances, and need to put some time aside for themselves. For all caregivers who do so much for everyone else, here are a few tips for taking care of yourself. Or, if you know a caregiver who could benefit from this list, share it with them.
- You can only provide the care within your control – There is only so much you can do. You try your best, and over-stretching or worrying about what is out of your control will only create stress. Try not to feel like it is your fault if you cannot provide 100 percent of the care you think you should.
- Allow others to help you – Each day, you go out into the world and help others. Once in a while, it is ok to allow others to help you; especially family and friends who recognize that something might be off and offer their support and empathy. If you find yourself having financial concerns, seek the guidance of a financial professional.
- Connect with other caregivers for social support – Join a group or get together with caregivers who know what you are experiencing. Sometimes just being around people who understand you and can relate and talk things out can change your feelings or thoughts.
- Create a list of small achievable goals – When people feel overwhelmed or even lost, having things to work toward forces the mind to compartmentalize and focus. Setting achievable goals is a great way to regain control of your life and stay grounded.
We all live busy lives, but let us never forget those who go out of their way to ensure we are okay. Take the time to thank a caregiver, message them or give them a call and see how they are doing. We must recognize the efforts and sacrifices of our caregivers every day, not only on special days.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
This article was prepared by LPL Marketing Solutions
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