Your best friend has been absent from your life for some time. You understand what’s going on. Her mother had a health scare and spent some time in the hospital. Your friend stepped up to be there for her. Her father had passed away several years ago so it was just her mother on her own. She became a caregiver, even though she didn’t consider herself as such.
During the past few months, though, you’ve noticed some changes in her behavior. You haven’t spoken to her nearly as frequently as you used to, and this certainly bothers you, but what’s more pressing is that she may be crying out for help without knowing how to actually say the words.
Below are three potential signs that your friend may be struggling as a caregiver for an aging or disabled family member.
Potential Sign #1: They don’t call back or visit.
You’ve been calling her day after day, leaving messages, and getting no response. You even text and still nothing is sent back. This is not normal behavior for her and yes, it can be frustrating and hurtful, but remember it’s probably intense stress that’s gotten to her. It’s not that she doesn’t want to reach out to you, but right now she’s overwhelmed and doesn’t feel she has time for anything.
Potential Sign #2: They look unhealthy and worn out.
You managed to squeeze a few minutes from your day to go and visit with your friend and what you saw caused you to catch your breath. She looked terrible. It looked as though she hadn’t slept in weeks, hadn’t taken a shower in days, and was thinner than you could ever imagine.
She looked completely unhealthy and that’s probably because she is. Stress can wear people down and cause a host of serious health issues.
Potential Sign #3: She suddenly has a negative attitude.
For most of the time you’ve known this friend, she’s always been at least somewhat positive, if not bubbling with a positive attitude. Right now, though, she has a scowl, frown, or something negative to say about everything.
When people feel overwhelmed with stress, it leads to a negative attitude and perception of life.
What can you do to help?
One of the best things you could possibly do right now is encourage her to consider home care support services. This doesn’t mean she has to stop taking care of this family member, but she can get the help she needs to take some time off for herself and that can be instrumental at relieving the stress she’s enduring.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care to reduce caregiver stress in Marco Island, FL, please contact the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse Home Health Care at (239) 307-0033.
In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.
Latest posts by Ted Wolfendale, Esq. (see all)
- 3 Signs a Friend Might Need Help If They’re Caring for Family - January 8, 2018
- How Can Family Help an Aging Veteran When They Can’t Afford Home Care Support? - December 11, 2017
- Redirecting a Loved One with Alzheimer’s - November 6, 2017