April is National Alcohol Awareness Month, during which organizations like AmeriBest Home Care in Harrisburg, PA endeavor to raise awareness about the growing number of people struggling with alcohol use. Among them, we see caregivers who have become overwhelmed, and really don’t know where to turn. Too little focus has been given to this situation, and it’s time to work together for solutions.
What Studies Show
Ongoing reviews of caregivers indicate that the emotional, social, and physical burdens of caregiving can overwhelm anyone. Attention from mental health professionals, social support groups, and home care agencies can help. No one expects to become an informal caregiver. Illness or injuries often occur out of the blue.
5 Negative Impacts of Caregiving
So, suddenly you find yourself with heavy responsibilities that affect you in five main ways:
- Decreased quality of life
- Emotional overload
- Physical grind
- Social limitations
- Time constraints
To give more specific examples, there are
- Financial management
- Dealing with insurers
- Daily housekeeping
- Errands and meals
- Administration of medication
- Moderating risk factors
Just to name a few. Bundled all together you have what’s called caregiver burden.
Having home health assistance typically results in longer lives for the infirmed. But it can turn into a nightmare when you’re going it alone. You can’t sleep, have headaches, get sick more often, etc. Alcohol becomes a tempting coping mechanism.
Caregiving and Alcohol Abuse
When faced with the inability to provide the quality of care a loved one needs, people still often push themselves. They feel awkward about asking for help, guilty that they’re not doing enough, and the relationship between them and the infirmed becomes strained. Alcohol is readily available and easy to hide from the person for whom you care.
Alcohol is certainly not an answer. The debilitating impact of alcohol puts loved ones at risk. In some instances, too much drinking leads to elder abuse.
How Much is Too Much
American dietary guidelines state a man drinking more than four drinks daily, or 14 per week and women-three daily (7 per week) implies alcohol abuse. People on certain medications shouldn’t drink at all. If there are other alcoholics in the family, you may have a genetic predisposition to contend with as well.
Relief is Available
Did you know that you can have a friend or other family member caring for your loved one and get PAID for it? Government-funded programs include those for caregiving. There’s a beauty and great peace of mind in having someone help who is not a random stranger.
When a person joins the AmeriBest team in Harrisburg, PA, they become part of a network of skilled professionals dedicated to compassionate care. The chosen person receives all the training they need to keep individuals safe and secure in their homes. It becomes a very rewarding career path, and one where someone can take a more active role in their family, relieving a lot of the stress that can otherwise lead to alcohol abuse.