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Caring for the Caregiver

Updated: Nov 19, 2018

In South Africa care of the elderly often falls on the shoulders of family members. This is because South Africans still have a strong sense of family, value our parent’s quality of life and want to be involved in helping them deal with their ageing. Nevertheless, caring can take a toll on the well-being of the care giver. Stress can cause many mental and physical ailments.

A few of the many tell-tale signs that the caregiver needs personal relief:

• being constantly irritated,

• refusing to go out anymore, even for a walk because of perceived reliance,

• loss of sense of humour and good nature,

• losing sleep or sleeping restlessly all night long,

• feeling constantly tired or pressured

If any of these situations occur it may be time to seek help, either in the form of respite care (getting a professional service in for a couple of hours a day or week), or even permanent relief.

The main thing to remember is that you should not feel guilty for seeking alternative caring methods for your family member. Caring is a strenuous and stressful job and no-one can indefinitely maintain being both a sensitive carer and trying to make a life for themselves.

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