Social Factors Affecting Care Giving
As a caregiver’s age increases, their social engagement tends to decrease. This can lead to feelings of isolation and depression that lead care providers to neglect themselves in order to take care of others. The family caregivers who are providing services for the most vulnerable members of society are disproportionately those who experience the highest level of mental health needs, because they have been caring for a family member with an illness or other cognitive disability for years or decades. You can find caregivers and also hire caregivers for your family.
They face challenges in many areas, including personal and professional responsibilities and relationships with other caregivers. Caregivers also may be suffering from anxiety over their own impending retirement or what will happen when they stop being able to provide service.
Few of the social factors affecting caregiving are:
1. Lack of Preparedness:
The person’s mental health often deteriorates and they may even become abusive to others, including the person they are caring for. The majority of people do not consider becoming a caregiver until they have already become one. If a person has the option to plan for their own future, they can take steps to educate themselves on how to take care of their loved one.
2. Decreased Social Engagement:
Caregivers are often isolated when they stop being able to leave the house and take part in social activities. This can lead to feelings of depression, loneliness, frustration and anger. Caregivers may not have as much time for hobbies or other interests that once provided some relief. As a caregiver’s age increases, their social engagement tends to decrease. This can lead to feelings of isolation and depression that lead care providers to neglect themselves in order to take care of others.
3. Family Members’ Support:
Caregivers of older family members are the most likely to experience physical and mental health problems, including anxiety, depression and social isolation. They are also the most likely to feel stretched too thin by their role as caregiver. When a caregiver is ill or injured, he or she may rely on family members for support. Family members who support a caregiver’s decision to take care of an older family member have a greater chance of being identified as a caregiver themselves.
4. Caregivers’ Risk-Taking:
People may feel that they have no other options when they become caregivers and that their decision will protect the person they are caring for from future harm. This can make them feel like they have no other choice but to do what they do.
5. Need for Care:
People can also develop a need to take care of others due to a feeling of helping others, or because of their own sense of guilt and inadequacy. This is known as the “sick role”. People often assume this role out of a desire to make up for the shortcomings in their own lives, which are usually related to some inadequacy in their relationships with others (e.g., not having a spouse or children) or not being able to achieve their goals in life (e.g., not being successful at work). Some caregivers of older family members may be acting out of a sense of guilt that they had not provided the care that their loved ones needed in the past. This is often associated with a desire to make up for the mistakes made in their relationship with the person they are caring for.
6. Caregiver’s Lack of Knowledge:
People may be unaware that they are ill and will not realize how caring for them will affect their own health and other responsibilities, including becoming isolated from the rest of society. In addition, most people underestimate how much care it will take to take care of someone else; “the things I wanted to do when I was young didn’t happen because I took care of him. I was always occupied with his care and now I feel guilty because I didn’t take care of my own needs” Some people have a cultural belief that it is the caregiver’s responsibility to take care of the other person.
7. Financial Stress:
If a person is having financial problems, there will be less money available for the older family member. Also, if a person is living in a home where their physical health is marginal and they are experiencing some cognitive decline and lack of capacity to manage their own finances, then they may become dependent on others for help in meeting basic needs like food, clothing and shelter.
Caregivers are more likely to suffer from depression and other mental health problems, including anxiety, because they have been caring for a family member with an illness or other cognitive disability for years or decades. Caregivers also may be suffering from anxiety over their own impending retirement or what will happen when they stop being able to provide service. Few social factors affecting caregiving are lack of preparedness, decreased social engagement and family members’ support.