What Does It Mean When You Are Burnt Out?
There are many advantages to caring for an aging family member, from strengthening the bond you have with your parent or grandparent to the satisfaction you feel knowing you’re helping them stay in their own home rather than “a home”. But regardless of these advantages and the love a senior caregiver has for the recipient of their attention, caregiving can be emotionally and physically draining. This is especially true when added to other responsibilities at work and at home. If left unchecked it can lead to chronic stress or caregiver burnout.
Did you know at least 20% of adult children are taking care of an older family member and of those 38% report a “highly stressful” caregiving situation?
At Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Oreland, PA, and the surrounding area, we understand how stressful caregiving can be and the guilt you may feel because of that stress. That’s why we have put together a list of common caregiver burnout symptoms as well as ways you can cope with it. We want you to take care of yourself to because you deserve it!
Give us a call at (267) 293-7434 to learn more!
What Are The Symptoms Of Burnout?
Two things that senior caregivers who experience burnout tend to notice first are that they feel more fatigued and irritable than normal. These first warning signs are important and shouldn’t be ignored, as the problem will likely get worse over time and cause more unnecessary stress for the caregiver and their senior loved one.
Other signs that you are experiencing burnout could include:
Withdrawal from friends, family, and other loved ones
Feelings of alienation, helplessness, or hopelessness
Feeling stressed in the patient’s presence
What Can I Do To Cope With Burnout?
With so many strategies for coping with senior caregiver burnout, it can feel overwhelming at times to find the best one that works for you but, the key is to keep trying. What helps someone else let go of their frustrations may not work for you and that’s okay! For example, you might find that adding watchdog technologies to your loved one’s home, such as medical alert jewelry or a timed medication dispenser, gives you enough extra time to relax and offers assurance that your loved one is safe. Other people, however, may prefer to ask family or a friend to step in for an evening or two so that they can catch up on other responsibilities and relax.
In order to help you get started, we’ve put together a list of common healthy coping strategies to try:
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.
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 a hobby: The sky's the limit here, as long as what you choose is a healthy outlet from caregiving. Maybe you like watching reality TV or perhaps you enjoy a challenging sudoku puzzle or are interested in joining a book club, as long as it takes you away from the caregiving mindset for an hour or two.
What If I Still Need Help?
So, you have a little more knowledge about caregiver burnout and how to cope with it but what should you do if you’re still experiencing symptoms? Well, one option you might want to try is respite care. With Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Oreland, PA, and the surrounding area, you can choose a respite care plan that works for you and your loved one. This way you can take the time you need to recharge your caregiving batteries while being assured that your loved one is able to be happy, healthy, and safe in their home.
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 (267) 293-7434. Our agents are available 24/7 to answer your questions and set up your free in home consultation.