Being a caregiver for someone or your own family may mean assisting them in completing daily tasks such as going to doctor’s visits or preparing food, as well as offering emotional and physical support. However, it’s crucial that caregivers look after themselves as well.
Meet Kylie Meyer
Kylie Meyer is a gerontologist and Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University whose research focuses on psychoeducational interventions to support family caregivers in multiple domains, such as complex medical/nursing care, healthy caregiving relationships, and financial well-being.
About the episode
In this episode hosted by Dina Sargeant, Kylie first discussed family caregivers and some roles that caregivers play. Then she explained how finance becomes a problem regarding caregiving, which according to her, taking on the responsibility of caregiving can often result in financial strain. Caregivers may need to adjust their work schedules or even leave their jobs entirely to provide care, leading to a loss of income. They may also face additional expenses related to medical bills, medications, home modifications, or hiring professional help.
Kylie said that caregivers often experience a significant shift in their roles and priorities, where their focus becomes primarily on providing care for their loved ones. But this shift can lead to neglecting their own self-care and well-being. As a result, caregivers may experience physical fatigue, chronic stress, and compromised immune systems.
Additionally, she mentioned that the emotional and psychological toll of caregiving can manifest in physical symptoms. Caregivers may experience symptoms of anxiety, depression, or burnout, which can further impact their physical health. They may have difficulty sleeping, experience weight changes, or develop headaches and digestive problems.
It’s important for caregivers to prioritize their own health and well-being by seeking support, practicing self-care, and accessing resources that can alleviate some of the physical strains and stress associated with caregiving. Engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough rest, and seeking medical care when needed is essential for a caregiver’s overall well-being.
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