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The Struggle of Being a Caregiver (Video)

Introduction

Caring for a loved one can be a daunting task, filled with emotional turmoil and physical exhaustion. This reality is depicted in the story of Raphael Acharya, who has been taking care of her mother, Maria, since last June after a stroke and worsening dementia.

Emotional and Physical Toll

Caregivers often find themselves in a constant state of emotional exhaustion and depression. Raphael expresses feeling emotionally drained all the time, not knowing when relief will come or how to manage the ongoing stress.

Growing Stress Among Caregivers

A recent Ontario study involving 110,000 caregivers revealed that one-third experience significant stress, anger, or depression. This rate has doubled since 2009, with many caregivers feeling so overwhelmed that they can no longer continue their roles.

Increasing Demand for Caregivers

Dr. Joshua Tepper, the lead author of the report, explains that the growing need for caregivers is due to an aging population that is also becoming sicker, with more cases of dementia and physical frailty. This increased demand is putting significant pressure on both the healthcare system and families.

Limited Support and Overwhelming Responsibilities

Raphael receives minimal help, only a couple of hours a day, leaving her to manage most of the caregiving responsibilities. She constantly worries about her mother’s well-being, questioning whether she is doing enough and feeling the anxiety of her mother’s decline.

Facing Mortality and Personal Fears

The burden of caregiving brings mortality to the forefront, forcing caregivers like Raphael to confront their loved one’s mortality and their own future. This constant reminder of life’s fragility adds another layer of stress.

Honoring Caregivers

Despite the challenges, the dedication of caregivers is often acknowledged and honored. Raphael is among many caregivers celebrated at events recognizing their immense contributions and the burdens they carry.

Conclusion

The struggle of being a caregiver is a complex mix of love, obligation, and emotional strain. As the need for caregiving continues to rise, addressing the mental and physical health of caregivers is crucial to ensuring they can continue to provide the necessary support to their loved ones.

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