The number of women who are taking on the role of caregiver — those who provide care for loved ones who are ill, elderly, or disabled — is increasing, and for many of these women, their caregiving responsibilities have turned into full-time jobs. Caring for a loved one can be difficult and time-consuming, and it often requires more time than caregivers can afford to spare. Furthermore, there are physical, emotional, and financial aspects of caregiving that can take their toll, leaving women feeling exhausted and stressed.
And then, of course, there is the stigma around asking for help. As women, we often feel like we have to be Superwoman. We nurse the societally ingrained feelings that we should be strong enough, capable enough, and together enough to handle these caregiving responsibilities on our own. But the truth is, no one can do everything themselves.
How to Manage the Challenges Faced by Caregivers
The challenges faced by women caregivers are unique and varied and can include everything from physical exhaustion to financial burdens to feelings of isolation. However, there are a few things that female caregivers can do to manage these challenges.
First, it is important to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. This means getting adequate sleep and exercise, carving out free time to engage in favorite activities, and remembering to prioritize your own responsibilities outside of caregiving.
Second, it’s helpful to remain organized and proactive in managing caregiving responsibilities. This includes creating a care plan, setting boundaries with loved ones, and using tools and resources that might provide additional assistance.
And lastly, it is critical to reach out for help when needed. Let’s take a closer look.
When and How to Ask for Help
When should a caregiver ask for help? There is no black-and-white answer, as every situation is different. However, there are some general red flags that might mean it’s time to seek assistance.
- You feel extreme stress or anxiety
- You have trouble sleeping
- You begin to neglect your own responsibilities and wellbeing
There are many ways to ask for help, and the best way to do it will vary depending on your circumstances. However, always aim to be truthful and straightforward. Don’t try to hide your struggles or act like everything is okay when it’s not. Be honest with yourself and with the people around you.
Whether you reach out to friends and family members or contact local support groups or counseling services, it’s important to remember that you are not alone and that there are people who can help. There are also numerous resources available online, such as websites and forums specifically for caregivers. And importantly, try not to judge yourself; Sometimes asking for help takes the most strength of all.
At The Humphreys Group, we believe that women should understand how taking care of their aging family members may impact their lives, including their finances. From experience, we’ve learned that it is particularly important for unpaid caregivers to stay diligent when developing their investment plans. If you believe you may be called upon to assume an unpaid caregiving role at some point in your career — or are already doing so — please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to start a conversation about how we can help you secure and maintain your well-being.