To many, the concept of paying homage to our caregivers can come off as something peculiar. However, if you were to remember on how much they’ve helped us through moments of sickness and ill health, it doesn’t come across as such a bad idea after all. It’s the least we can do for what they’ve put themselves through in the first place.
To understand more, perhaps it would be best if we look past their smiling faces, and truly observe their inner challenges that they face as a caregiver. From juggling their work and care duties, to making ends meet under a mass of medical bills, these are the reasons why we should give recognition to our caregivers’ efforts.
1. They Sacrifice Their Free Time
When caregivers take the time to care for their loved ones, they’re giving up the time that they could be spending resting or pursuing their own interests. They might not be able to catch up with their friends, see their families as much, or to even simply relax at home on their off hours. Their free time becomes more limited as their responsibility as a caregiver grows.
Depending on the situation, caregivers may end up spending a whole chunk of their time by their loved one’s side, ensuring that all their needs are met. Caregivers dealing with long-term diseases, such as dementia or cancer, tend to have higher burnout rates, as they’re needed to be there consistently to provide physical and mental support throughout their loved one’s ordeal.
2. They Struggle With Financial Issues
The burden of medical expenses can take a toll on a caregiver’s funds. In fact, there have been recent articles that acknowledge the financial problems that caregivers face. Especially for those who are holding a job, these caregivers face the dilemma of interruptions in work, taking frequent leaves, or even quitting outright just to cater to their loved one’s needs.
This’ll put the caregiver in a vicious cycle, where their annual income will slowly decline as they sacrifice more and more of their work time to take care of their ailing loved one. Once the medical expenses become too much to bear, the caregivers will find themselves struggling to keep above their living costs while managing their responsibilities as well.
3. They May Not Have A Choice
There are plenty of caregivers who didn’t aspire to become one in the first place. They usually find themselves taking up the role due to illness or an unexpected accident. From caring for their ageing parents, raising a special needs child, or even dealing with the aftermath of a relative who suffered a nasty fall in the bathroom, these responsibilities often come as an unexpected addition to a caregiver’s life.
What’s worse is that by being forced into such a role, these new caregivers often lack the experience in taking care of an ailing loved one, which can lead to many issues. In fact, a study conducted in 2011 has shown that almost half of Singapore’s potential caregivers felt that they needed help and training to properly look after an elderly relative.
4. They Tend To Suffer From Burnout
When a caregiver begins to struggle with his or her responsibilities, they can suffer from burnout after a while. Apart from their everyday needs as a person, managing and caring for an ailing loved one can prove to be too much for some to handle. This may cause the caregiver to neglect their own needs in favor of their duties and spark off the fuse to a mental breakdown.
The scariest part is that some caregivers may not even realize that they’re suffering from burnout, as this article points out. Hence, it’s important to catch the warning signs at its early stages and make necessary changes to their lifestyle before the caregiver succumbs to the stress of his or her duties.
5. They Lack A Support Base
While many people tend to focus on the patient’s needs, caregivers are often left in the dark. Physical and emotional stress of caring for their ailing loved ones, if left unchecked, can slowly accumulate overtime and affect their quality of life. Without any support to lessen the load of caregiving, this risk for someone to suffer from burnout increases dramatically.
This article highlights the need for caregivers in Singapore to have more support from society, in preparation of an impending ageing population. Apart from support hotlines and groups, many caregivers can now also turn to training workshops to enhance their skills, or seek respite care should they feel that they require a little assistance in caring for their relatives.
Do any of these reasons resonate with your own caregiver’s plight? While it may not be exactly similar in terms of severity, every caregiver sacrifices a degree of their lives to ensure that their loved ones are well taken care of. Even when they’ve recognized the losses, most caregivers wouldn’t know where to turn for help.
At the end of the day, caregivers need a break to recharge and also to take stock of their lives. This is where respite care comes in, which can take several forms. For those who do not have enough leave or off days to bring their loved ones to the hospital, they can hire freelancer medical escorts to accompany them to their doctors’ appointments, dialysis appointments and others.
For those who are not comfortable in leaving their wards alone at home, there are care companions who can take care of them while the caregivers are at work. Sometimes caregivers need a helping hand or someone to talk to and these care companions can help.
Fortunately, we at CaregiverAsia can assist you in finding the right respite care. With a multitude of available care services that features medical escorts, care companions, babysitting, home nursing, a variety of therapy sessions and much more, you’ll be able to take a breather from your caregiving duties and go on a well deserved break. Find out more here!
Related articles you might like:
Did you enjoy this article? There's more where that came from. So, come subscribe to our blog to make sure you do not miss the interesting, informative, and some fun articles and videos we share!