March is National Caffeine Awareness Month and for those who are caregivers, looking after an aging parent, spouse, sibling, or even a disabled adult child, the pressure can be incredible. You might be struggling to sleep well at night. As a result, you may feel the need to gulp down more morning coffee, grab some in the afternoon, and even take some stronger caffeine related drinks or supplements.
Caffeine is a stimulant, and that means it could exacerbate the stress you feel, create even more tension in your body, and make it more difficult to sleep, even as you have a great deal of difficulty doing that already.
If you think that caffeine is helping you cope with stress better, think again. Science doesn’t support that claim. Just because it may create the illusion of comfort or a placebo doesn’t mean it is helping you. The older you are, the more negatively caffeine can affect you.
What you need to do at this moment in your life is recognize how caregiver stress is impacting you, your health, and even your family.
What can you as the caregiver do to make a difference?
First and foremost, it is essential to take better care of your own health, otherwise you won’t be much benefit to this aging senior or disabled adult child who needs your help.
If you don’t take good care of yourself now and you happen to be about the average age range for a family caregiver, which is in the late 40’s or mid 50’s, you run an increasing risk of dealing with serious health issues yourself.
If that happens, who is going to care for this individual you have been looking after all these months or years?
The best thing to do is talk about home care as a family. You may not have thought much about it or have certain misconceptions about what it is or offers and decided not to even look into it further.
In reality, a professional caregiver can supplement your life, giving you much-needed time off, a mental and physical break, and the ability to get adequate sleep at night and not feel so overwhelmed and stressed all the time.
Through our agency, you can rely on somebody for just a couple of hours at a time. You don’t even need to hire somebody five days a week or for full-time, around-the-clock care. Just once or twice a week can make a world of difference for you and that person depending on you.