Why Is Caregiver Burnout So Serious?
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 Durham, NC, 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!
What Does Burnout Feel Like?
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:
Excessive use of alcohol, medications or sleeping pills
Withdrawal from friends, family, and other loved ones
Emotional and physical exhaustion
It is important to be aware of these signs, as the difficulties and stress aren’t likely to go away if you ignore them.
How Can I Cope With Burnout In A Healthy Way?
Learning how to cope with burnout as a senior caregiver is one of the most important skills you can learn but, sometimes finding the right method can take time. What works for someone else might not necessarily work for you and that’s okay. For example, some people might find that maintaining an active social life is beneficial and gets them out of the caregiver headspace at the end of the day, while others find exercise helpful for letting go of their frustrations. The key is to stick with it and keep caring for yourself because you deserve it!
Here are a few more ideas to help you get started:
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.
Find a healthy way to vent your frustrations: For some, this can be a friend who understands the demands placed on a senior caregiver. Others may find it works better for them to write down their frustrations in a private diary or word document.
Seek professional guidance and/or support groups: While it can sometimes be hard to find the time to sit down and speak with a therapist or counselor, it can be incredibly helpful for many people. Support groups may also be available in your area, you can try checking with local hospitals or places of worship for meeting dates and times.
What If I’m Still Feeling Burnt Out?
Now you know a little more about caregiver burnout and how to cope if you are experiencing it, but what happens when that isn’t enough? That’s when you can call Comfort Keepers Home Care! We offer flexible respite care plans, along with a variety of other in home senior care services. Whether you need a few hours a week to take care of errands, doctor appointments, and other important tasks or would like to take a short vacation to recharge your batteries, one of our caregivers will be there for your loved one so that you can be sure they are happy, healthy, and safe in their home.
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 Durham, NC, 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 (919) 504-2473.