I never thought of myself as an addict, but I did end up addicted to anti-anxiety medication after developing Generalized Anxiety Disorder. At some point, the medicine stopped being a way to deal with the nervousness and panic attacks, and became something my body craved. I knew that I needed help fast. Fortunately, a local drug rehab program includes support for people like me. They helped me wean off the medication, use methods like massage therapy to help my nerves heal, and even provided ongoing counseling for our family. I don't know how I would have made it without their help. If you suspect that your medication has crossed the line from being helpful to hurtful, take heart. Let me tell you about my journey out of addiction and back to wholeness.
You love your parent, so of course, you are happy to care for them in their old age. However, caring for an elderly person is challenging, both physically and emotionally. Many people develop burnout after months or years of providing this service for a loved one. Caregiver burnout is associated with complete mental and emotional exhaustion, depression, frequent illness, irritability, and withdrawal from friends. Obviously, this is best avoided. The sooner you take these steps to avoid caregiver burnout, the better.
Send your parent to adult daycare once or twice per week.
There are adult daycare centers where you can drop your parent off for a day. The caregivers within the facility will make sure your parent gets their medication and any other care they need. They'll provide them meals, socialize with them, and involve them in activities like board games, watching movies, and so forth. Sending your parent to such a facility once or twice per week gives you a break and a chance to focus on yourself. Plus, it gives your parent the opportunity to socialize with others, so they won't be as emotionally demanding and lonely when you spend time with them.
Stay involved in an activity you love.
You might have to give up some things when you take on acting as a caregiver for your parent. However, it is important that you do not give up everything because this can contribute to the loss of identity that plays into many cases of caregiver burnout. Stay involved in at least one activity you love. That activity can become an outlet for any frustration you feel and a way for you to express yourself.
Make sure your parent is getting the medical care they need.
Sometimes caregivers end up working harder than they need to simply because their parent is not getting all of the medical attention they need. For instance, if your loved one suffers from depression but is not getting treated for it, their low mood may make them more challenging to care for. If your parent has any symptoms that worry you, bring them up to the doctor. It's for the best that they are fully diagnosed and treated.
Caregiver burnout is unfortunately common. However, by relying on an adult daycare service a few days a week, taking time for yourself, and making medical care a priority, you can reduce the burden of caring for your parent and make burnout less likely.
For help with caring for your parent, you can contact an adult day health care facility in your area.Share