The Stress of Being a Caregiver

Before I became a Social Worker, I wanted to be a teacher.  And before I wanted to be a teacher, I vaguely remember wanting to be a banker or a cashier.  When I was 12 years old, my father, who was a financial controller for a business firm, suffered a brain injury, called encephalitis, which was a swelling in the brain.  He lost his ability to speak and express himself in coherent words.  He lost his ability to recall how to do basic functions of self-care.  I watched my mother transition from a secondary provider to the primary provider, as well as, a caregiver.  I observed her stress levels increase and her physical health deteriorate because of it.  My father never really recovered.  I think we, as a family, just learned to adjust to the new language he spoke and the reminders that he needed on an everyday basis.  We observed him become progressively more irritable and frustrated because of his inability to communicate his thoughts effectively.  My mother’s hypertension and angina were often affected with the added stress that my father’s sudden change in presentation and needs brought to the family.

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