Gwen had a busy social life. She often threw dinner parties for her friends and volunteered regularly at the library in her community. On top of spending lots of time with friends, she also had a great career as a paralegal at a law firm. Then her mom was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. As her mom’s condition worsened, Gwen spent more and more time caring for her. She no longer had time to grab a cup of coffee with her friends, let alone organize a dinner party. Gwen left work each night and drove straight to her mom’s house, spending every night there. Eventually, Gwen began to feel like the only thing she ever did was work and care for her mom. That left her feeling lonely and cut off from the rest of the world.
Gwen isn’t the only caregiver to feel lonely. And, loneliness is dangerous. It can lead to depression. In fact, up to 70 percent of people who are caregivers have symptoms of depression. To prevent yourself from falling into depression, it’s important to deal with caregiver loneliness right from the start. Below are some tips for managing caregiver loneliness.
Maintain Friendships and Connections.
True, easier said than done. However, right now is when you need other people in your life the most. Friendships help you to relieve stress and make you feel happier. While it may not be easy to find time to spend with your friends, it’s important that you make time. Even just a few minutes spent chatting on the phone can be refreshing and help you to stay connected to other people.
Join a Caregiver Support Group.
One way to feel less alone in your role as a caregiver is to join a caregiver support group. There you’ll meet other people who are in the same situation and understand what you’re going through. It can also be a great place to make new friends.
Accept Offers of Help.
Many caregivers wave away offers of help, telling others they are “fine” and can handle whatever is going on. Instead of doing that, take them up on the offer. It can help to keep a list of tasks you’re comfortable delegating, like grocery shopping or making meals. Having other people do some of these smaller tasks can free up some of your time, giving you a chance to spend time with friends. If there isn’t anyone who can help, consider hiring home care to spend even just a few hours per week with your older family member. Those couple of hours will give you an opportunity to get out in the world and maintain your other relationships.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Quincy, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida
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