Top 5 Signs of Substance Abuse in Caregivers

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Signs of Substance Abuse in Family Caregivers in Winnipeg, MB

Some family caregivers are put into roles they’re not prepared for, and others never receive the support they need when caring for their senior loved ones. Both of these situations could cause family caregivers to turn to substance abuse as a way to handle their emotions. However, this puts their lives as well as the health and safety of their senior loved ones at risk. Here are some of the signs of substance abuse in family caregivers. 

1. Depression

Providing constant care to a loved one can affect a family caregiver’s psychological health. Higher levels of anxiety, stress, and depression are common among family caregivers. As a result of these emotional health effects, caregivers may begin taking substances to escape their negative emotions. When you see your loved one’s caregiver become depressed, this is a sign to step in and offer more assistance. You can prevent this from happening by considering outside help. Elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

2. Isolation

Although it’s important for family caregivers to have time for themselves, you should be alarmed if you notice a caregiver isolating him or herself. If the caregiver refuses to come out of a room when you’re in the house or he or she always schedules outings when other people are coming to the home, this could be a sign of substance abuse. To prevent this from happening, offer the family caregiver support. If the caregiver cannot talk to you about his or her issues and concerns, sign him or her up for a support group dedicated to family caregivers. Being around people who have gone through similar issues allows caregivers to vent, and it often leads to fresh ideas.

3. Missing Money

A family caregiver will likely have access to your loved one’s personal information, including financial accounts. If you notice money is missing and credit cards are being used without authorization, this could be a sign of substance abuse in the family caregiver. He or she could be using the money and merchandise to purchase drugs. To prevent this from happening, make sure your loved one’s financial information is always protected. You should also seek immediate medical attention for the family caregiver. Getting counseling, a medical detox, and family support could help the caregiver stop using substances.

4. Neglected Appearance

Family caregivers don’t have to dress up in fancy clothes each day, but when you notice a lack of grooming or interest in clothing, this could be a sign of substance abuse. Someone who once valued his or her appearance won’t go through drastic changes. Encouraging the caregiver to stay physically active, socially engaged, and motivated could prevent substance abuse and motivate him or her to live a healthier lifestyle. Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Winnipeg families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.

5. Lack of Ambition

Being a family caregiver gives people the chance to bond with their senior loved ones, but it also requires a lot of time and commitment, which could lead to giving up a dream job or falling behind on career goals. A family caregiver who sees other family members flourishing could begin to regret the decision to become a caregiver and turn to drugs and alcohol. As a family, you should all commit to sharing the caregiving responsibilities. Encourage the caregiver to continue going to college, working at his or her regular job, and making time for goals.  Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Winnipeg Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (204) 489-6000. 

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