Overcoming Isolation as a Caregiver
Updated: Mar 28
It may be ironic, but spending a great deal of time caring for another person can also cause you to feel incredibly alone. The hard fact is that caregiving can be incredibly isolating, for several reasons:
Resentment toward those whose lives seem so much easier
Guilt over enjoying time away from the individual in your care
Mental or physical exhaustion: you are simply too drained to want to socialize
Whatever is causing you to feel isolated as a caregiver, it is crucial to take measures to conquer it. Social isolation can bring about serious health conditions, including heart problems, depression, high blood pressure, stroke, and difficulties with memory and attention, just to name a few.
Our home care experts recommend starting today with implementing one or more of the following ideas.
Tell friends and family how you feel. People may assume you’re too busy in your caregiving role to want to spend time with them. Let them know you are feeling isolated and lonely and would enjoy some company.
Strike up conversations with strangers. It is amazing how such a simple thing as chatting with someone in the grocery store checkout line can lift your spirits. Offer a compliment, such as how pretty the person’s shirt is, or commiserate on the need to unload your purchases in the drenching rain.
Start each day with a positive mindset. It may take some effort in the beginning if you have been feeling down for some time. A great way to begin is with fifteen minutes of an energy-boosting activity. Make it something enjoyable, rather than an additional chore to add to your routine, such as by jumping on a little trampoline or following along with an upbeat exercise video.
Watch the way you speak to yourself. Your internal dialogue plays a tremendous role on your mood. Make note of your thoughts. If they’re consistently negative or full of worries and anxiety, try intentionally shifting your mindset. Find three positive things to be thankful for and concentrate on those. When the negativity creeps back in, come up with three more. It may take some effort in the beginning, but will quickly become second nature.
Find a caregiver support group. You may be surprised to discover how many people feel the same as you do. In encouraging and supporting each other, you’ll have the opportunity to make some new friends who are able to empathize with and understand the journey you’re on.
Of course, making efforts to be more social as a caregiver isn’t easy. It entails finding a trusted source for respite from your caregiving tasks so that you can step away and take care of your own personal needs. Fortunately, The Care Company has the perfect solution. If you need to use our services for in-home assistance in the Greater Toronto area, contact us online or at 416-422-2273, and together we will develop a plan to ensure the best care for the older adult you adore, and a healthier life balance for you also.