These are uncertain times. Daily news is filled with stories about the COVID-19 virus and how it is affecting our world. We are speaking with many families who made the decision to move their aging parents home with them during this time. There are also many who live at a distance and their elderly relatives live in their own homes in the Rochester community. Others have loved ones living in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. No matter where the older adult lives, families are worrying about them and the stress is quite difficult. The worries include concerns related to the virus itself but also with their isolation or not knowing if they are receiving the best care.
You are not alone! A recent study was done by The University Center for Social and Urban Studies (UCSUR) at the University of Pittsburgh on the topic of the Effects of COVID-19 on Caregivers. This study was focused on “assessing the impacts of the pandemic on employment, financial well-being, social interactions, health behaviors, and physical and mental health.”1
It is no surprise that the study found that a caregiver is more stressed than a non-caregiver. Worries about protecting the health of the loved one, washing hands, wearing masks, social distancing, providing direct physical care, and handling their outside care needs are a full-time job in and of itself. You may also be working from home full-time. Additionally, most family caregivers are also caring for their own families. This all adds up for a caregiver, making this a very difficult level of stress to manage. Usual outlets such as socializing with friends, going to the movies, and enjoying other recreational activities are impeded by concern about bringing the virus home to an aging parent or even the caregiver. It feels like the world is on your shoulders. The study found that this level of stress leads to the caregiver suffering from social isolation, anxiety and depression, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and even financial hardships.
If this is happening in your family and you need help with an aging parent who lives in the Rochester community, please reach out. For many years, pre-pandemic, we have helped families avoid caregiving stress and we helped them figure out the best care options for their family and their aging loved one. This is needed even more today. We work with your loved one in a secure and safe manner, taking every precaution to protect your family and make sure that the care they receive is arranged and overseen with an emphasis on their safety. With our connections to facilities, home care agencies, and physicians, we can make sure that your loved one has the best care, while we reduce your stress. As a team of nurses, we understand the medical needs as well as the social needs. Please, reach out if you need help, you don’t have to manage all the stress alone.