All over the country there are thousands and thousands of people of all ages and from all walks of life who either by choice or through necessity devote most of their time to caring for a family member or partner. Whether it is a long term disability, senility or a serious illness, sometimes people need full time care to manage normal everyday tasks, and sometimes the only person available to help is a family member or friend.
Of course, giving up so much of your time and energy to help someone else is incredibly stressful, and can feel very lonely for the carer. If you are currently feeling the strain after a period of looking after someone who needs you, you may therefore feel it is time to stop taking all of the responsibility on your own.
Why You Should Get Help
Caring for someone else is not only stressful, it also means putting your own life on hold, often for years, if you try and do it alone. You may also have a lot of anxiety in your life as you worry about the future and what might happen to the person you care for if you aren’t around. You may feel like you are the only person who knows what to do and who the person you care for can trust, however in many cases, carers feel a lot better when they engage someone else’s help and share the role. Whether it is for a large amount of the time or just a few hours a week, having somebody else who can be involved in the situation can shed huge amounts of pressure.
Where to Look for Help
The most obvious place to look for help is among other family members and friends. They may not realize quite how much you do for the person you care for, and may be more than happy to pitch in and give you some time off. If that isn’t an option, there are charities who offer assistance to people in your situation for all different kinds of disabilities and illnesses.
However, if you can afford it, you may want to consider a more permanent option in terms of hiring a professional carer or aide to come and work with the person you look after on a regular basis. You can contact a local health care agency to discuss the possibilities and the options that they can offer.
Some people feel guilty about bringing in a professional nurse or other care giver, or as if they have failed in their duties, however it is important to remember that the most important things are the well being of both the person you care for and yourself. A professional, trained person can also make life more interesting by bringing a new person into the person you are looking after’s life, and with some conditions a new friend and new experiences can be a real boon.
If you are having difficulties in your life as a carer, remember that you are not alone and there are likely to be people, whether from professional organizations, charities or your own circle, who can get involved and give you a break.
The author of this post, Jennifer Wesley, is a nurse at a leading home care company. She likes to help others and is passionate about the work she does. Her hobbies include reading novels and watching movies.