How Does Caregiving Affect People Mentally & Physically?

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What Are the Mental & Physical Effects of Caregiving in Des Moines, IA

Many people sacrifice time and their self-care needs to provide care for senior parents. The mental and physical effects of caregiving can disrupt relationships and increase the risk of issues like depression, substance abuse, and cardiovascular disease. Continue reading to learn how caring for an aging loved one could affect you mentally and physically and ways to address these issues.


One of the most common mental effects of caregiving is depression. Family caregivers who fail to set aside personal time usually become consumed with their loved one’s needs and push their own interests to the side. It’s essential to put your mental and emotional wellbeing first to lower the odds of depression and reduce the risk of burnout. When you’re in good mental shape, you can provide adequate care to your parent. Some of the ways to prevent depression and enhance your quality of life include staying socially active, continuing to work on your goals, taking time off from caregiving, and asking others to step in and help out with your parent’s care. A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for family caregivers who are feeling the effects of stress. When researching agencies that provide elder care, families are usually looking for flexible care plans, compassionate and highly trained caregivers, and 24/7 availability. Whether you need respite care to take a break from your caregiving duties or your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, you can rely on Home Care Assistance.

Physical Strain

Taking on too much without assistance from others could lead to wear and tear on your body. The physical strain from overworking could increase the risk of heart problems and stroke. Caregiving may also require lifting your loved one, putting more strain on your muscles and joints. To manage the physical problems associated with the role, set boundaries and stick to those limits. Putting too much pressure on the body could lead to exhaustion.   Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Des Moines families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.


Family caregivers facing the stress and anxiety of their responsibilities are more likely to turn to alcohol and other substances to handle anxiety. Therefore, their odds of addiction are higher compared to family caregivers who find ways to manage stress and the other mental and emotional aspects of the role. Find a support group to turn to when the job becomes overwhelming. Instead of giving in to bad habits like excessive drinking and utilizing illegal or prescription drugs, you should lean on your support system for guidance, reassurance, and love. Having a mentor or people to cheer you on and listen to your caregiver-related issues could make it easier to handle stressful situations.

Lack of Privacy

Sharing a residence with your parent provides you with a bonding opportunity. However, the living arrangements could take away some of your privacy. Your loved one may have visitors over, which could interfere with your work and free time. To address privacy issues, develop house rules and boundaries and designate private areas within the home for you and your parent. If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, a professional caregiver can provide the support and encouragement you and your loved one need. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Des Moines Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.


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