What to Expect
Being a caregiver is challenging and at times very stressful. Rather than trying to measure up to an impossible standard of the perfect caregiver, remember, there is not one “right” way to be a caregiver. The “perfect” caregiver is a fantasy.
- Approximately 44 million Americans provide unpaid care to another adult, sometimes around the clock.
- 80 percent of the long-term care in the United States is provided by family and friends.
- Over 40% of caregivers indicate that their health has suffered as a result of caregiving.
- 66% of caregivers report that their social life has changed significantly.
Caring for Someone with Parkinson's
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are ever-changing over time. Each day as a caregiver you will face new, unexpected challenges. While you didn’t choose to be a Parkinson’s caregiver, as a caregiver you can choose your attitude. Your attitude will permeate your life and the life of the person with Parkinson’s disease.
- You and your loved one should lead as active and as normal a life as possible.
- Know that everything will take a little longer.
- Allow plenty of time for your loved one to do things for themselves.
- Expect each day, each moment to be different and the level of help to vary.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Ask what help they want from you.
- Let them know what help you need from them.
Caregiver Stress and Burnout
Caregiver stress, the emotional and physical strain of caregiving, is normal. You may feel frustrated, angry, guilty, lonely and exhausted. You are not alone. Be sure to connect with other Parkinson’s caregivers or join a caregiver support group
Caregiver burnout is common. Burnout occurs when stress significantly alters your physical and mental health. Signs of burnout include:
- Significantly reduced energy
- You’re constantly sick
- You’re continually exhausted, even after a good night’s sleep
- You neglect your own needs because you’re too busy or you don’t care
- Your life revolves around caregiving, but it gives you little satisfaction
- You’re increasingly impatient and irritable with the person you’re caring for
- You feel helpless and hopeless
Help is a phone call away! 303-830-1839 or 1-866-718-2996