You’re Not Alone! The Importance of Caregiver Socialization posted on: 11-16-2017

caregiver socializationLet’s be honest: providing care for an aging loved one can be exhausting, overwhelming, and isolating. As care needs progress, particularly when a chronic condition such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease is at play, family caregivers may feel as though they’re in over their heads, and getting through the most basic aspects of the day – showering, preparing meals, running errands – can seem a hurdle too great to leap.

According to Carey Wexler Sherman, a gerontologist at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, “Caregiving is done with a lot of love and affection, but there’s a lot of loss involved. People talk about friends disappearing, about even family members not wanting to be involved. It’s a lonely business.”

As a result, many family caregivers tend to isolate themselves. It’s difficult to plan social outings without knowing what kind of day Mom or Dad will be facing. It’s equally hard to invite friends over and face the potential need to cancel plans at the last minute. Sometimes it just seems easier to try to manage everything alone. Senior geriatric social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, Barbara Moscowitz, shares comments she hears from family members caring for a loved one with dementia: “They say, ‘I’m exhausted trying to explain to people why she’s doing what she’s doing, why they shouldn’t be angry or afraid. It’s just easier to stay home.”

However, we know that social isolation and loneliness are linked to serious health risks: heart disease, stroke, depression, and even a higher prevalence of developing dementia or dying early. Caregiver support is crucial, both for the senior being cared for and the family members providing that care.

North River Home Care is on hand to help in so many ways, through hands-on assistance with all aspects of senior care, preparing meals, keeping the house clean, running errands, and so much more – allowing family members much-needed time to themselves to spend with friends and in enjoyable, relaxing activities – ensuring the wellbeing of all family members.

Contact us any time for the professional in-home care help you can trust, giving you the opportunity to regain a healthy life balance while knowing your senior loved one is in the very best hands.