While being a caregiver is rewarding on so many levels, caring for a wheelchair-bound loved one can also be challenging and lead to what is known as caregiver stress. Caregiver stress is incredibly common. It’s a result of both the emotional and physical strains caregivers undertake every day, as most are continuously “on call” to help their loved ones.
Caregiving for a wheelchair-bound loved one can become overwhelming at times and leave little room for the caregiver to focus on other priorities. Sometimes, this stress can even lead to detrimental health effects on the caregiver, as their aid can mean forgoing care for themselves altogether.
That’s why it’s so important to understand that caregiver stress can take many forms, from anger to depression, to physical pains. Caregiver stress can cloud the mind, body and soul, and can even lead to making careless mistakes that are harmful to both the caregiver and the cared for.
The act of caring goes both ways, so know the signs and symptoms of caregiver stress. They include:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling alone and isolated
- Irritability and anger
- Depression and anxiety
- Frequent headaches or body aches
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Extreme lethargy
- Extreme weight loss or gain
- Loss of interest in things once enjoyed
When everyone’s aware of the risk of caregiver stress, we can all work together to help relieve that stress and prevent negative health effects. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other loved ones and local resources for help from time to time. After all, you need to be able to care for yourself before you can take on the care of your wheelchair-bound loved one.