Assisting Caregivers of Children with Developmental Disabilities
Parents and caregivers of children with developmental disabilities tend to experience more parenting stress than parents of typically developing children. A number of potential stressors include day to day demands, finding opportunities for the child to make friends or participate in social activities, or other behavioral challenges.
According to a study done on Caregiving in the US, caregivers of children help their care recipient with an average of 5 of 9 day to day caregiving support activities.*
*average depends on the needs of the care recipient.
That same study shows caregivers of children have a 40% higher “burden of care” than in caregivers of adults. The physical, emotional, social, and financial well-being strain on caregivers is 64% higher in those providing care to children.
Too much stress, especially over a long period of time, can harm your health. As a caregiver, you’re more likely to experience symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental and emotional distress. The effects of stress overall on a caregiver’s well-being can vary but there is a high chance you will find yourself feeling overwhelmed, constantly tired or feeling sad at some points throughout the child’s development. Some caregivers may also experience feelings of isolation or extreme fatigue to name a few.
Having the Proper Support
Caregivers often lack the proper support networks or the time to access ANY support networks for that matter. Making time to support yourself in your role as a caregiver can provide a sense of strength. Having a proper support network can provide advice, help and a listening ear when you need it.
Caring for the Caregiver
Finding effective strategies to cope with the high demands of raising a child with developmental disabilities is essential. Therapy can be beneficial for caregivers who have become isolated, overwhelmed, anxious, depressed or lack support from others.
Psychotherapy can provide help and motivation for you to take care of yourself, meet your needs, and continue your work. Therapy can help you become better able to cope with grief, stress, and isolation.
To provide the best care and answer the demanding needs of your family, you have to be your best self.
A licensed mental health clinician can help provide techniques and strategies for managing your stress. As well as providing additional resources and support networks to help you be the best caregiver you can be!
If you have other questions or are interested in learning about more resources, please contact us today!
READ MORE ON OUR PREVIOUS BLOG, SELF CARE TIPS FOR PARENTS OF SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN.