Overcoming Caregiver Isolation and Loneliness

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Finding support is one way of overcoming caregiver isolation.

 

Who could imagine that spending so much time caring for another person could also cause you to feel incredibly alone? The hard facts are that caregiving can be exceedingly isolating, for several reasons:

  • Mental or physical exhaustion: you’re simply too drained to want to socialize
  • Guilt over enjoying time apart from the person in your care
  • Bitterness toward those whose lives seem so much easier
  • And more

No matter what the cause of the isolation you may be feeling as a caregiver, it’s imperative to take measures to conquer it. Social isolation can bring about serious health problems, including heart problems, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, and problems with memory and attention, just to name a few.

Our home care professionals recommend starting today with implementing one or more of the following ideas for overcoming caregiver isolation:

  • Start your day with an optimistic mindset. It may take some effort in the beginning if you have been feeling down for some time. An excellent way to begin is with 15 minutes of an energy-boosting activity. Make it something pleasant, instead of an additional chore to add to your routine, for example, jumping on a small trampoline or following along with an upbeat exercise video.
  • Tell family and friends how you feel. People may assume you are too busy in your caregiving role to want to spend time with them. Let them know you’re feeling isolated and lonely and would welcome some companionship.
  • Strike up conversations with strangers. It is amazing how such a simple thing as talking with someone while in the grocery store checkout line can raise your spirits. Offer a compliment, such as how pretty the person’s shirt is, or commiserate on the need to unload your purchases in the cold weather.
  • Watch the way you speak to yourself. Your internal dialogue plays a tremendous role in your mood. Make note of your thoughts. If they are constantly negative or full of anxiety and worry, try deliberately shifting your mindset. Find three positive things to be thankful for, and concentrate on those. As soon as the negativity creeps back in, think about three more. It might take some effort in the beginning but will soon become second nature.
  • Find a caregiver support group. You may be surprised to realize how many people feel just like you do. In encouraging and supporting each other, you’ll have the opportunity to make some new friends who can understand and empathize with the journey you are on.

Of course, incorporating more socialization into your life as a caregiver isn’t easy. It entails finding a reliable source for respite from your caregiving tasks so that you can step away and care for your own needs. Fortunately, Golden Harmony offers the ideal solution with compassionate senior care in Raleigh, NC and the surrounding areas. Connect with us at 919-426-7522, and together we can formulate a plan to guarantee the best care for the senior you adore and a healthier life balance for you also.

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