What Does It Mean When You Are Burnt Out?
Choosing to be a senior caregiver can be highly rewarding, for both you and your loved one, but sometimes life can get a little crazy and leave you feeling a little burnt out. With everything you take care of, from balancing a career to helping your kids with their homework, it becomes important to recognize the signs of caregiver burn out and fatigue. This is, essentially, when a caregiver experiences a state of mental, physical, or emotional exhaustion.
At Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Allentown, PA, and the surrounding area, we understand the pressure that providing care for a senior loved one can put on their family. In order to help raise awareness of caregiver burnout, we have put together a list of early warning signs, as well as ways you can practice self-care to combat them.
What Are The Signs Of Caregiver Burnout?
There are many signs that point to senior caregiver burnout but, two of the most commonly cited early ones are irritability and fatigue. You may also find you’ve been losing sleep despite feeling exhausted or that you’re getting headaches more frequently.
Other signs that you are experiencing burnout could include:
Feeling stressed in the patient’s presence
Feelings of alienation, helplessness, or hopelessness
Loss of interest in activities which you previously enjoyed
If you start to notice any of these symptoms, it is crucial that you take steps to bring balance back to your life sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, these feelings don’t simply disappear if you ignore them but, learning new healthy coping mechanisms is a fantastic place to start taking action against burnout.
Coping Mechanisms For Caregiver Burnout
Finding the best way to cope with feeling burnt out as a senior caregiver is a little different for everyone. For some people, journaling can help relieve feelings of stress that you don’t feel comfortable talking about with friends or family, while other people find that spending time learning about their loved one’s condition provides insight and helps them be more empathetic. It might take time, but find what works for you!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
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.
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 as a senior caregiver.
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.
Are There Any Other Options?
If you decide that you need a little extra time to take care of yourself, but you don’t always have a friend or family member to help take care of your loved one, you might consider respite care from an expertly trained Comfort Keepers caregiver. We offer flexible care plans so your loved one can receive the exact amount of care they need and you can have a little extra time to yourself. Whether you need a few extra hours during the week to take care of your other responsibilities or just for a week so you can take a vacation, a Comfort Keepers caregiver will be there for you and your loved one.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can avoid feeling burnt out as a senior caregiver, for a full list of our available care services, or if you’d like to learn more about our incredible team at Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Allentown, PA, please (610) 351-9922 anytime or call us at (610) 351-9922. Our operators are available 24/7 to answer your questions and schedule your free in home consultation.