Caregiver Stress Lexington NC
Let’s ask a simple and direct question: are you a safe driver? Most people are going to admit they are. However, with more and more distractions, with cell phones, texting, stress and anxiety, and so much more, you may actually be a lot less safe behind the wheel than you assume. If you’re a caregiver for an elderly parent, for example, you could be dealing with a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety and therefore are not completely focused on the task at hand.
A simple loss of focus can be catastrophic.
The last time you were driving down the road, let’s say for example you were heading to your mother’s house to check in on her after a long day of work. You had some complications at work, got out late, and then got stuck in traffic due to an accident.
That’s frustrating in and of itself, and when traffic is finally moving along, your mind is racing in a hundred different directions at once. By the time you pull into your mother’s driveway you have no recollection of the actual trip itself. That’s not a good sign.
You were basically operating your vehicle on ‘autopilot.’ Your eyes were on the road, you were paying attention to traffic lights, brake lights, turns, and more, but since you have no memory of how you got there, something could’ve happened, something you didn’t expect, that could have been disastrous. Your reaction time was significantly slowed down, but you didn’t need to worry about that because you were fortunate. No one was flying through an intersection, running a red light, or swerving into your lane. If they had been, who knows what could’ve happened.
Now, how does stress impact your safety behind the wheel?
As a family caregiver, stress is significant. Maybe you didn’t think it was going to be a concern when you first agreed to take care of your mother, but it is. There’s no way to hide that fact anymore.
If you’re under a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety on a daily basis, you’re probably not sleeping very well. If you’re not getting enough sleep every night, you’re going to be fatigued, have a low energy, and have difficulty focusing If you’re a caregiver for an elderly parent, for example, you could be dealing with a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety and therefore are not completely focused on the task at hand. on whatever task you’re trying to complete. That could include driving.
Studies have shown people who are extremely fatigued or unfocused behind the wheel are not much safer than those under the influence of illegal substances or excessive alcohol (Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc. – http://www.sleepdr.com/blog/driving-drowsy-vs-driving-drunk). That’s a sobering statistic.
What’s the solution?
If this describes you in any way, it’s time to consider home care support services. You can hire a home care aide to help take care of your mother for just one or two days a week. They can be hired for just a couple of hours at a time, at least when you choose to hire them through an agency. That can help you alleviate stress and get focused on other things in your life again.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care for seniors in Lexington, NC, contact the caring professionals at TenderHearted Home Care today. Call us at 704-612-4132.
I have enjoyed volunteering my time as the President of the Rowan County Home School Association, assisting with the Parkinson’s Support Group, Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Pregnancy Support Center, MOPS International, Capstone Recovery Center, Kairos Outside, Celebrate Recovery, various church committees and going on a mission trip to Moldova. I am a member of the Rowan County Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels board member, REACH of Rowan County, HIPSS of Davidson County, Second Tuesday Business Group and several Christian Business Life Groups.
I am passionate about serving others and providing the most compassionate care possible, as I would want for my own family. I love relaxing with my husband, Peter, and my two dogs, Yoyo and Terra Cotta.
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