How Burnout Can Affect Caregivers
When an elderly loved one decides to receive care within his or her own home, a family member often prefers to act as the primary caregiver. While this situation is usually ideal, situations arise in which a senior caregiver can begin feeling mentally, physically, or emotionally overwhelmed. This is called caregiver burnout.
Did you know at least 20% of adult children are taking care of an older parent and of that 38 % report a “highly stressful” caregiving situation?
At Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Grand Foks, ND, and the surrounding area, we know that you want to provide the best care you can for your loved one so that they can remain in their home rather than “a home”. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the most common symptoms of burnout along with several coping strategies you can try!
What Are The Symptoms Of Burnout?
There are many signs that a senior caregiver is experiencing burnout but, two of the most common are irritability and fatigue.
Other signs that you are experiencing burnout could include:
Loss of interest in activities which you previously enjoyed
Excessive use of alcohol, medications or sleeping pills
Feeling stressed in the patient’s presence
If you begin to notice yourself or a loved one experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to act quickly to make changes that will help bring your life back into balance. Unfortunately, these feelings aren’t likely to go away if you just ignore them and may even become worse. So, what can you do about it?
What Are Some Ways I Can Cope With Burnout?
There are so many ways that you can cope with caregiver burnout that sometimes it can be overwhelming to get started. The important thing to remember is that not everything will be right for you and it may take time to find the coping mechanism, or mechanisms, that help you the most. For example, some people find that setting up watchdog technology for their senior, such as medical alert jewelry or a timed pill dispenser, can take away a lot of their stress. Take the time to decide what’s best for you because you deserve to relax!
Here are a few more ideas to help get the ball rolling:
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.
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
Find ways to exercise: Although it can be difficult to set aside time to exercise, it is one thing that doctors can agree is good for everyone. Finding the time to work up a sweat and get your heartbeat up can go a long way in helping alleviate your stress.
What About Respite Care?
At Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Grand Forks, ND, and the surrounding area, we know that you love your senior and want to provide the best care for them but, you have to take care of yourself too. While it is true there are many healthy coping mechanisms that you can try, sometimes it just isn’t enough and that’s okay. If you’re still feeling burnt out, it may be time to consider respite care. With respite care from Comfort Keepers, you can take the time you need to recharge your caregiving batteries while feeling secure in the knowledge that your loved one is being cared for by one of our highly trained, compassionate caregivers.
If you’d like to learn more healthy ways you can cope with the stresses of being a senior caregiver, our full list of services, including respite care, or what makes Comfort Keepers Home Care so special, please contact us online anytime or call us at (701) 335-8769. Our agents are available 24/7 to answer your questions and set up your free in home consultation.