If you’re providing unpaid care for someone else for more than 5 hours a week, your health could be suffering.
When you’re taking care of someone else, their health and well-being is prime in your mind. It can be hard to remember that your own health can often slide by the wayside when the focus turns to others.
The results? Sometimes, but not always, caregivers end up suffering more than the patient, in the end. It’s a delicate balance of sacrifice. One side effect is common though: trouble sleeping.
A report on CBC.ca describes a study that was done as a collaboration between researchers in Sweden and the UK. Scientists found that informal caregivers- those who care for an elderly, ill or disabled relative without being paid- who provide care for more than 5 hours a week suffered the most sleep problems.
These individuals suffered the most from insomnia, repeated awakenings, premature awakenings, trouble falling asleep, and restless sleep. They were more likely to report being chronically ill as a result, to suffer from physical pain and to be depressed or have mood disorders.
The connection between the caregiving and trouble sleeping was pretty strong. When the caregiver’s duties were lessened, they found better sleep.
What’s the take-away? When possible, share your caregiving duties among friends and relatives to lessen the load. It counts. Search for government or local programs to help with the cost of paying for professional caregiving, so that you can have a break.
In many states, Medicaid will pay for homecare Personal Care Services (PCS) or Personal Attendant Services (PAS). It can be a benefit-click here for more details.