Who are you
sickYou are the ones who, thanks to your efforts and your tenacity, are able to provide the necessary care to a family member or a sick, disabled or weak friend through daily home care activities, personal hygiene and medical assistance. Beyond the type of assistance provided, all of you find yourself giving others encouragement, understanding, a sense of belonging, hopes and a meaning to their existence. Some statistical data:
– In 33% of cases there is only one person assisting a sick family member
– 72% are women
– Among men most frequently we find husbands and children. Spouses are mostly those who care for their partners. If they are unable to do so, they are replaced by children or daughter-in-law. – According to statistics, people in the home caring for sick family members provide 80% of global medical care and about 90% of all domestic services.
– Among the older spouses who carry out this activity, at least half of them have health problems.
– At least one third are workers and add one activity to another.
– 80% provide an average assistance of 4 hours a day for 7 days a week. In the face of particularly serious cases (Alzheimer’s disease, for example), we reach more than 40 hours a week.
– Many think that nurses or nursing homes provide the main help to the sick, the weak and the disabled. Instead, most of them are assisted at home by the family. Even those who are hospitalized in institutions continue to receive support and help from their families.
– You are “head, heart and hands” for family and society. Your role is extremely important for the well-being of your family members and for society, because through you, those with serious health problems receive the comfort and assistance they need with dignity.
Challenges and stress
Certainly one of the major challenges to be faced is to manage your care tasks without neglecting other activities that require time, attention and energy. The situation becomes more difficult when the commitments are many or emotionally engaging. Attending a patient can be very satisfying, as it is an expression of love for someone important to us, but can also become psychologically and physically exasperating. If the effort required becomes excessive, energy, good humor and the ability to cope with problems will be reduced and you will feel stressed. This feeling will vary from day to day depending on the health of the patient, his and your mood, and the energies you can count on. Certainly it gets worse in the face of unpleasant,
uncontrollable or uncertain situations, in the presence of substantial unexpected changes and inevitable frustrations. You will certainly experience stress. To be able to manage the situation you have to learn to balance the requests that come to you with your resources. Learn to recognize, anticipate and deal with commitments and stress by reinforcing self-esteem, the ability to solve problems and resorting to adequate external support. In this chapter you will find a series of tips that can help you. Put them into practice. the ability to solve problems and resorting to adequate external support. In this chapter you will find a series of tips that can help you. Put them into practice. the ability to solve problems and resorting to adequate external support. In this chapter you will find a series of tips that can help you. Put them into practice.