What difficulties do caregivers face?

Though there are many great parts about being a caregiver (which we’ve written about in our blog: The most enjoyable parts of being a caregiver), there are always times when it's difficult.

In this blog, we are going to outline some of the most common difficulties that caregivers face. We also are going to give some advice on what you can do to tackle these issues.

Difficulty #1: Handling a lot of responsibilities

One of the most difficult parts of being a caregiver is handling a lot of responsibilities.

As a caregiver, you’re responsible for making sure that your client is in good condition both physically and emotionally. You're also responsible for making sure that the space around them is clean and tidy.

This means that you have to make sure that your client:

  • Is bathed
  • Brushes their teeth
  • Has clean clothes on
  • Uses the bathroom
  • Is happy/ not stressed
  • Eats good meals

As well as you have to make sure that they have:

  • A clean kitchen with no dirty dishes
  • A clean sleeping space with clean sheets
  • A clean house in general

To ensure your client is well emotionally and physically, as well as that their space is clean, it can be overwhelming at times for caregivers.


Difficulty #2: burnout

Another common difficulty caregivers face is burnout. Burnout is when you’re overwhelmed by life responsibilities and become physically and mentally exhausted.

This is common for caregivers because they have so many responsibilities inside and outside of work. After keeping up with these responsibilities for so long, caregivers may start to get overwhelmed and tired.

Symptoms of burnout include:

  • Feeling exhausted
  • Having negative feelings toward your job
  • Inability to perform job as well

Though burnout is very tiring, it’s definitely curable by brainstorming different solutions with your manager. Because it’s so common, it’s important to know the symptoms of it and be able to identify if you’re experiencing it. Once you know you are, then you can do what’s needed to tackle the problem.


Difficulty #3: Managing your time

Another common difficulty of caregiving is managing your time. When you’re a caregiver, as just touched upon, you have a lot of responsibilities. These responsibilities may be both at work and outside of work in your personal life.

At work, you have to figure out how to clean, cook, bathe, and do other things for your client each day. On the job alone, time management is a skill you have to master. You have to master it so that your client and their space is cared for properly.

Outside of work, caregivers often have family they need to care for or maintain a relationship with. Caregivers may have kids, a spouse, parents, or other people in their life that they have to spend time on. In addition, caregivers also have to maintain other parts of their lives. For example, they need to spend time getting groceries, paying rents, and on other responsibilities.

All together, it can become very overwhelming to manage your time. But, with practice, a to-do list each day, and a regular routine, you can become an expert at time management and not have to worry about this difficulty.


Difficulty #4: Dealing with illness or death of clients

One of the most difficult parts of being a caregiver is watching your client's health get worse. This is especially hard when you've known them for a long time.

As you become close to your client, it’s sad to watch them lose some of the capabilities they once had. For example, as your client gets older, they might lose the ability to:

  • Walk without assistance
  • Taste their food or
  • Remember things they once did

They may also be more likely to get sicknesses, like Covid, the flu, or colds since as you age, your immune system gets weaker.

Unfortunately, sometimes as a caregiver, you may even have to deal with a client of yours passing away.

Whether your client is becoming less able to do things they once could, is sick, or is in their final days, it’s important to remember that the great thing about your job is that you can help your client enjoy their final days as much as possible. You also have to remember that your will always appreciate you, even if it's hard to deal with illness and death.


Difficulty #5: Being afraid to ask for help

Another difficult thing about being a caregiver is that you may be afraid to ask for help. When you deal with any of the difficulties listed above, you might get overwhelmed. This can cause you to be afraid to ask for help when you have difficulties. Reasons you may be afraid to ask for help are:

  • Fear of being needy
  • Fear of seeming like you’re not smart

We understand that it’s difficult to ask for help when you need it. But, we also know that 100% of the time, it’s much better to ask for help when you need it rather than trying to struggle through difficulties on your own.

Of course, you don’t have to ask for help with every little problem you face, but when you face a difficult situation that you first try to solve on your own, but still struggle to solve it, it’s then time to ask for help.


All in all:

A job as a caregiver has many difficult aspects to it, as does any job. We wanted to write these difficulties out to show that caregiving does have difficulties, but that these difficulties are solvable.

As a caregiver, you may end up struggling with: 

  • Handling a lot of responsibilities
  • Burnout
  • Managing your time
  • Dealing with illness or death of clients
  • Being afraid to ask for help

When you face any of these issues, we want you to remember how rewarding a profession of caregiving can be. Make sure to tackle the issues with confidence and you will create strategies to solve them while still loving the job.

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