Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why is Care Giving so Hard?

Ask any family care giver and they will tell you that it is the toughest job they ever had. Talk to any care giver and you may find them to be tired, stressed out, and not asking for help. The life of a care giver is often lonely and hard. They do the job because they love their ill or elderly family member.

What is it that makes the job of family care giver so hard?

• It is a 24/7 job that can go on for years.

• Often care givers don’t think of or take care of themselves because they are so caught up in their loved one’s well being.

• Care givers sometimes have trouble asking for help from their friends and family. They don’t want to burden others.

• Not only are they responsible for the physical care of their loved one, but they also have to help them deal with the emotional aspect of their illness.

• They have to become “experts” in the health care aspects of the illness involved.

• They learn to navigate the “system” to get the benefits and care that is needed.

• Care givers have to deal with their own emotions about someone they love being sick or unable to take care of themselves.

These are just some of the aspects that make care giving a difficult job. If you’re a care giver I am sure you can add items to this list. There are similarities for all care givers, but each person’s experience is unique and that makes it challenging.

If you are not a care giver, but know someone who is you can find some hints on what you can do  in this previous post. Don’t be afraid to reach out; most people will welcome your kindness.

(this post is also being posted on my Colorado Springs Fresh Ink blog today)


  1. The most liberating moment for me as my mom's care giver is when I shared the burden with my siblings.

    It's difficult when only one child does all the work. We often wonder where the heck is every one? We become resentful. It snow balls... our loved one feels our emotions and before we know it we are living in a downward spiral of unacceptable behaviors.

    It's up to the care giver to realize that we can only control ourselves, our siblings will come around when they are ready, it can't be pushed.

    Keep a positive attitude, get respite. It's affordable. The Visiting Angels are awesome. I really don't know what I'd do with out our angel Cheryl.

    You are not alone, even though there are days you feel like you are.

  2. Hi Susan, thanks for your comments. I must confess that I am not currently a care giver. My mom passed away in 2007. However, during the years that Dad and I took care of her I came to realize how hard it is for care givers and I want to make sure that other care givers get the help and understanding they so deserve.

    You are doing a great job with your mom and I am glad that you are sharing the burden. Taking care of yourself is an important part of being a care giver.