5 Frequently Asked Questions

(+1 bonus question answered)

Written by Musqan Butt

Who is a caregiver?

A person who cares for the needs of a person who has a temporary or lifelong illness or disability is known as a caregiver. Caregivers play an integral role in the life of the person they are caring for, but their wellness is often overlooked or largely goes unnoticed. The caregiver’s well-being must be also considered.

Anyone can be a caregiver – you don’t need to be a nurse or doctor. If the person you are caring for is a friend or family member, then one is considered a family or an informal caregiver. Caring for a child, spousal partner, relative, parent or friend who requires assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, managing finances, scheduling and accompanying to medical appointments, or providing emotional support, has its challenges. It requires a range of responsibilities and requires managing your own emotional, mental and physical needs.

Why is your health and well-being important?

It is essential to understand the impact that the responsibilities of being a caregiver can have on your physical and mental well-being. As the obligations you have to the person you are caring for increase, so too can the amount of stress you experience. This can have a ripple effect on other aspects of your life such as work, social activities, relationships, and overall physical and mental health. Moreover, the societal and economic impacts of temporary or lifelong diseases or disabilities can carry an even greater burden on a caregiver. For these reasons, it is important to be aware of the toll that caring for someone can take on your life.

Does caregiving affect your mental wellness?

Caregivers often experience high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health-related issues, particularly if they are caring for a family member. This can have a profound negative effect on their psychological and physical health, leading to increased levels of depression and anxiety, as well as heightened levels of stress and frustration. Research has shown that the role and responsibilities of caregiving can take a heavy toll on those involved. It is thus important to ensure that caregivers are looking after themselves too.

Evidence suggests that caregivers are more prone to substance abuse, and prescription and psychotropic medications than non-caregivers, and are also more likely to experience higher levels of hostility. Furthermore, those with depression or who use ineffective coping mechanisms are more likely to experience avoidable complications, which can have a direct impact on the person they are caring for. Family caregivers, in particular, who care for a spouse with significant physical and emotional needs, are at an increased risk of clinical depression and are more likely to demonstrate negative behaviour towards the person they are caring for.

Therefore, it is essential to remember the adage, ” to take care of someone else, you need to care for yourself first!”

What are the physical effects of caregiving?

The physical and emotional effects of being a caregiver can be very taxing. Being a caregiver often means having to neglect one’s health and well-being. Caregivers may find themselves with little time and energy to prepare healthy meals and exercise and may struggle with sleeping due to stress and anxiety. This combination of physical and mental exhaustion can be detrimental to the health of the caregiver.

It is important to take into consideration the health of caregivers and to recognize that they may experience a range of complications as a result of their role. Neglecting one’s health can lead to difficulties in carrying out caregiving and personal tasks, which can ultimately harm the person being cared for. The health and well-being of the caregiver are a priority for the overall health and well-being of those in their care.

Can caregivers get support?

At Suruvi-Care for Caregivers, we understand the unique struggles that caregivers face and have created educational and support programs to help them cope. Our primary care interventions, such as group and individual therapy with trained professionals, allow caregivers to share their experiences and learn the necessary coping skills to effectively manage their position. We also have a community of support that enables caregivers to connect with other individuals in similar circumstances. Our sole focus on caregivers and their well-being gives us an intimate understanding of their needs, making us the perfect fit for supporting and helping them manage their roles. If you are a caregiver, reach out for psychological support services.

Bonus Question

How can you support a caregiver?

Donate to the ‘Adopt a caregiver’ kitty. Suruvi-Care for Caregivers recognizes that caregivers may need to reach out for therapy but the budgetary realities brought about by disease, make it difficult to do so. The Adopt-A-Caregiver proceeds go towards providing deserving caregivers with therapy services and information at subsidized rates or no cost. To support a caregiver in this way, click on the donate button on our website or use the Mpesa Pay Bill Number 4047551 Account name ‘Adopt’, to support caregivers all over the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *