Since November has been designated National Family Caregiver Month, it is time to focus our attention on family caregivers and their immense contribution to both society and the well-being of terminally ill family members.
Carers, especially family caregivers, choose to focus their energy on improving the last years, months, or days of a sick person. By choosing to take care of individuals diagnosed with physical or mental disabilities at home, caregivers boost the economy and allow hospitals to save beds for medical emergencies.
Family caregivers usually give up on certain activities as their new task comes with a 24/7 schedule. Moreover, they do not receive any government help, so they must do financially. Most family caregivers share the load, different family members remaining home to take care of the sick person while the others are working.
While it may be harder to wrap a family’s schedule around a sick member, scientists discovered that the extra effort is worth it. Previous studies have shown that patients who receive family care during their final months are more at peace than those who are admitted to a specialized institution.
Moreover, another study revealed that the majority of family caregivers do not agree with the title as they consider that they are doing a common deed.
According to psychologists, this attitude can prove harmful in the long run, as the people who mistake ordinary every-day attributes with caregiving end up ignoring their basic needs.
Respite care, or the break recommended to all family carers, is vital for the physical and mental health of the people who are spending their time taking care of a family member. However, when the individuals in question decide to take a few days off, they find it hard to get help from other people or professional agencies. The main problem is that outside help is usually very expensive.
Experts say that caregivers who do not take breaks from their activities can risk economic, emotional, and physical distress. Furthermore, scientists discovered that when people are engaged in demanding activities, they tend to ignore their bodies’ distress calls.
This is yet another reason why family carers should remember that they must take care of themselves as well.
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