The following information is an excerpt of an article on Synapse, an Australia company that, according to its website, “reconnects lives of those affected by brain disorders.” Although I left the article as I saw it, I did change the word “carers” to “caregivers” in the title of this post.
Common reactions for carers
All carers respond to the demands of caring for their loved one in their own way. Common reactions are feeling overwhelmed, confused and shocked. There are no right or wrong feelings. These feelings are a natural and normal reaction to caring.
Guilt can be a common feeling. Carers may feel responsible for the brain injury occurring, not wanting to be a carer, losing their temper or being embarrassed by the person being cared for. Carers may particularly feel guilty about taking a break from caring or placing the person in residential care.
Anger can arise when someone is the sole carer or others in the family don’t do their fair share. They may become frustrated when faced with regular challenging behaviours, angry outbursts, self-centredness or many of the other issues that can arise after a brain injury.
Resentment can arise from lack of support when friends don’t make contact any more, support services don’t provide enough help and the focus always is on the person with the brain injury.
Fear and anxiety about the future are common? How much will the injured family member recover? What will happen if the family can’t cope? Legal issues such as a compensation claim can be very stressful.
Grief is experienced by many families. Personality changes often result in feeling they have lost their loved one but being unable to say ‘goodbye’. Caring duties can be so overwhelming that there is also the loss of one’s former lifestyle when life starts to revolve purely around the person with the brain injury.
Stress may bring physical symptoms such as headaches, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, anxiety and frequent illness. Carers may also find themselves feeling out of touch with reality, forgetful, not looking after themselves, crying easily and not eating properly.
Look after yourself
Carers need to maintain their health and wellbeing to provide the best frame of mind to care for another individual.
To read the full article on Synapse, click here.
Thanks to Synapse for committing its resources to the article; Google for helping me find the article; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible to include the picture and text in this post.