She knows she is fortunate to be able to stay home and care for her mother. She feels guilty for her occasional resentful feelings about her situation, since she knows many other people would love an option like hers. The only thing that seems brings her comfort is food.
Lately there have been studies pointing to the fact that middle-aged women are prone to eating disorders. I’d like to see statistics on how many of those women are caregivers. We see questions on the AgingCare.com forum from women who have gained considerable weight during the months or years they’ve been caregiving. Many have gradually turned from seeking occasional comfort from food to what may be a full-blown food addiction. Food becomes to them the only realistic way that they can relieve their stress.
1. Lose the Guilt
My feelings about this common problem are that caregivers who are “self-medicating” with food must first let go of guilt. If there are feelings of resentment for being tied to caregiving, the resentment is a clue that the caregiver needs to get some outside help. This could come in the form of an in-home care agency sending a paid caregiver to the home for a specified number of hours, or finding an adult day care service for the elder.
Many elders thrive with these additions to their care, as they too can get tired of the same routine day in and day out. They too can need more social interaction. Don’t let guilt keep you from seeking outside help. And don’t let guilt for occasional negative feelings toward your situation take you down. Negative feelings are just that feelings. They are human.
Step Away From the Donut: The Perils of Emotional Eating originally appeared on AgingCare.com