Caring for a relative is something many people end up doing at one point or another. Sometimes it’s short-term, like helping someone out after surgery, but many times, it’s a long-term condition that can involve caring for multiple people. This is compound caregiving, and it can be a very difficult situation to find yourself in. Luckily there are ways to alleviate at least some stress that the caregiving can generate for the caregiver. That reduction in stress can help ensure the care you give your family is as good as it can be.


What Is Compound Caregiving?


Compound caregiving is when you have to care for multiple people at the same time. This isn’t the same as the regular caring you might do for two or more children who are just growing up. However, if you’re caring for a child and your elderly parent who needs help with daily tasks, that would be compound caregiving. For some compound caregivers, the caregiving is extremely long-term, such as when they have an adult child with disabilities and a permanently injured spouse to care for.


Compound caregiving is more time-consuming than non-caregivers can comprehend. And because people are living longer and having kids later, it’s becoming more common to find compound caregivers who are dealing with multiple generations of their family all needing their assistance.


What Effects Does It Have on the Caregiver?


Compound caregiving has similar effects on caregivers as non-compound caregiving does, but those effects are more intense. Compound caregivers may spend many more hours each week on caregiving tasks, and depending on who they’re caring for, they could also have to take on more household chores that someone in their care might normally do instead.


So, imagine having to spend much of your time caring for one person, and then double or triple that time. Add in work, care of the home, and outside tasks like shopping, and you can see that compound caregivers don’t have time to relax or get away from the caregiving duties. This can wear them down and lead to effects on their mental health. If you’re a compound caregiver and recognize yourself in that description, you’re not alone at all.


How Can Compound Caregivers Manage the Stress Involved?


Managing the stress involves some form of break. This can be through arranging for respite care every so often, and there are organizations in most major cities that can help there. (Doctors and medical centers may know of respite care organizations you can contact.) Another option is to share caregiving duties with a group of other caregivers. For example, someone who just ended caring for someone might give you a break and care for your dependents for a few hours, and you might help care for another caregiver’s dependents the next week.


Yet another option is home care, where you have nurses and assistants drop by to help with care or with tasks in the home. They can ensure that you’re getting the support you need to provide proper care for your dependents. Some home care agencies also offer respite care.


With the help of a home care agency like Victory Home Care, you can ensure that your multiple dependents are well taken care of while you start to get more time to handle household issues and have time for yourself. Even if your compound caregiving is supposed to be for a limited time only, look for home care agencies in Delaware County, PA, that can help you out. Home care in Chester County, PA, is one of the best ways to ensure that your compound caregiving doesn’t overwhelm you.