How Stress And Fatigue Can Impact Caregiving
While it is true that there are many benefits to being a senior caregiver for an aging family member, without breaks, caregivers can become stressed, resentful and even depressed. This mental, physical, and emotional strain is called caregiver burnout and if left unchecked it can be highly detrimental to your health.
Did you know depression affects 20 to 40% of all caregivers?
There are many symptoms of caregiver burnout and in order to help you identify any that you or a loved one may be experiencing, Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Madison, CT, and the surrounding area has put together a list of the most commonly cited ones. We want you to be as healthy and happy as possible because you deserve it!
How Can I Tell If I’m Experiencing Burnout?
Senior caregivers who experience burnout often first notice that they are feeling more fatigued or irritable but, there are a number of other warning signs. You may begin having trouble in your other relationships outside of caregiving or begin having trouble sleeping, despite being tired at the end of the day.
Other signs that you are experiencing burnout could include:
Getting sick more often
Excessive use of alcohol, medications or sleeping pills
It is important to be aware of these signs, as the difficulties and stress aren’t likely to go away if you ignore them.
Healthy Coping Mechanisms For Caregivers
With so many ways to cope with burnout, it can sometimes feel overwhelming finding the best option for yourself. What works for one person may not be the best choice for another but, the key is to always keep trying. For example, you might find that attending therapy or sharing in a support group helps you let go of your stresses and provide the best care you can, while others may prefer spending time learning a new hobby.
It’s up to you to find the best stress relief strategy but, we’ve made a list of a few ideas to help you get started:
Schedule time for your health: While caregivers may spend a lot of time in doctor’s offices, it is often to accompany the senior they care for rather than for their own appointments. One way to combat this is by making your own appointments for regular exams, flu shots, dental visits, and the like at the same time you arrange a loved one’s.
Bring your employer into the loop: Sometimes it can be a good idea to let your employer know that you are providing care for a senior loved one. Some companies have caregiver related programs that offer leave time or flex time. While this isn’t available at every company, it doesn’t hurt to ask if you’re experiencing burnout.
Maintain your social life: Maintaining an active social life as a senior caregiver can be difficult, but it is rewarding. Make time to call or text just to check-in and schedule time together when it’s available.
What If I Still Need Help?
So, you’ve learned about caregiver burnout and how to cope with it but, what if trying to cope simply isn’t working for you? Well, it may be time to consider respite care from Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Madison, CT, and the surrounding area! Not only do we offer flexible care plans, our caregivers are the best in the business. With respite care, our goal isn’t to take over for you entirely but to give you the time you need to recharge your caregiving batteries while feeling secure in the knowledge that your senior is receiving the care they need. Sometimes a short break is all you need to help kickstart a change in attitude and reignite your passion for caregiving.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can cope with the stresses of being a senior caregiver in a healthy way, if you’d like to learn more about Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Madison, CT, and our amazing care team, or if you’re ready to schedule your free in home consultation, please contact us online anytime or call us at (203) 493-7564.