Lifting the Care Burden with Always Best Senior Services
In Clinton Township, Michigan and the rest of the United States, the majority of care services are being provided by informal helpers, such as spouses and adult children.
And while most people are more than willing to help aging parents, spouses, and friends, 24/7 monitoring and dependence is another matter. In fact, the effects of informal caregiving have been classified by geriatric care journals as analogous to a “chronic stress experience” (Pinquart&Sörensen, 2003).
Caregiver stress can reduce quality of life and even impact your relationship with your loved one. But Always Best senior services can lift the burden, improving your loved one’s quality of care and leaving you more time for memory-making.
Today’s post digs into the science behind the “care burden,” and explains how Always Best senior services can help.
What Science Says About the “Care Burden”
No business would give an employee a 168-hour work week, because it would break them, and yet, some informal helpers still feel guilty admitting that round-the-clock caregiving takes a toll.
The term “care burden” is particularly onerous because of how it reflects on the recipient–nobody wants to feel like a burden, after all.
But what does science say about the care burden? Is it real? Or does the satisfaction of helping a loved one outweigh the negatives?
According to the journal of Psychology and Aging, it’s very real: “providing care to an elderly relative often restricts the personal life, social life, and employment of the caregiver” (Pinquart & Sörensen, 2003, p. 250). The effects of caregiver burden resemble those of other chronic stress experiences.
Caregivers face difficult tasks that tend to get more challenging over time, especially when dealing with dementia sufferers. In addition to the physical demands, caregivers have to deal with the emotional side of their parents’ aging and declining independence. These chronic physical and psychological stressors wreak havoc on the helpers’ wellbeing.
And informal caregiver stress tends to snowball because of how caregiving limits opportunities for stress relief. For example, caregivers usually have less time to spend with friends and family, and less time to pursue hobbies and other leisure activities.
Furthermore, early research on the care burden may have underestimated its impacts on the health of the helper due to issues with sampling and operationalization. According to the journal of Psychology and Aging, a number of studies failed to properly define the caregiver role, so that the experiences (and perceived burden) of dedicated caregivers were lumped together with those of people who simply “shared the household with an impaired family member” (p. 250).
Adopting more stringent sampling criteria, Pinquart & Sörensen (2003) compared the health and stress levels of caregivers and non-caregivers. The results were powerful, if somewhat predictable:
- Caregivers had higher levels of stress and depression;
- Caregivers had lower levels of subjective well-being;
- Caregivers had less self-efficacy.
Caregiver burden is the real deal. But Always Best senior services can help.
Lifting the Care Burden With Always Best Senior Services
Clinton Township, Michigan caregivers can lift the burden today by getting in touch with Always Best senior services.
Our licensed and highly trained staff offer a whole continuum of care services that can be customized to suit your loved one’s lifestyle and preferences. And if your loved one would be more comfortable with assisted living, we offer free referrals, and will work tirelessly to find you the best facilities in Clinton Township, Michigan.
To learn more about Always Best senior services in Clinton Township, Michigan, visit https://www.alwaysbestcare.com/mi/chesterfield/ or call 586-203-2157 to book a free care consultation.
Pinquart, M., &Sörensen, S. (2003). Differences between caregivers and noncaregivers in psychological health and physical health: a meta-analysis. Psychology and Aging, 18(2), 250.