How Burnout Affects Caregivers
Choosing a senior caregiver can be quite useful for both you and your loved one, yet life can get hectic and leave you feeling exhausted. With so much on your plate, from maintaining a career to helping your children with their homework, it is vital to recognize the signs of caregiver burnout and tiredness. Caregiver tiredness occurs when a caregiver is psychologically, physically, or emotionally exhausted.
We understand the stress that providing in-home care for a senior loved one may put on their family at Comfort Keepers in Rapid City, SD and the surrounding area. To help increase awareness, we've prepared a list of early warning signs of caregiver burnout, as well as ways you may practice self-care to combat them. Comfort Keepers is glad to be there to provide respite care and give the main caretaker a much-needed break.
There are various early signs of elder caregiver burnout, but irritability and tiredness are two of the most frequently stated. You may also notice that you've been sleeping less and feeling more tired, or that you've been getting headaches more frequently. Other indicators include:
- Changes in appetite, weight, or both
- Loss of control either physically or mentally
Withdrawal from friends, family, and other people you care about If you observe any of these symptoms, it is vital that you take action as quickly as possible to restore balance to your life. Unfortunately, ignoring these feelings will not make them go away, but learning new healthy coping strategies is a terrific place to start when combating burnout.
Coping With Burnout
Learning how to manage with burnout as a senior caregiver is one of the most important skills you can learn, but it can take some time to figure out the right technique. What works for someone else might not work for you, and that's just fine. Some people may believe that having an active social life helps them get out of the caretaker headspace at the end of the day, whereas others may believe that exercising helps them let go of their feelings. The key is to persevere and continue to look for yourself because you deserve it!
- Schedule time for your health: While caregivers may spend a significant amount of time in physicians' offices, it is usually to accompany the senior they are caring for rather than for their own appointments. Making your own appointments for regular exams, flu shots, dental visits, and other similar things at the same time as a loved one's is one way to combat this.
- Become knowledgeable about your loved one's illness: Understanding how to handle your loved one's condition effectively can be very helpful in lowering stress. Some hospitals and community organizations may even offer classes to help you learn. For example, if you are caring for a senior with Alzheimer's or dementia, understanding how memory works and how dementia progresses may help you better understand what your loved one is communicating if they are having difficulty speaking.
- Seek professional help and/or join a support group: While it may be tough to make time to see a therapist or counselor, it can be quite useful for many people. Support groups may also be available in your area; check about meeting dates and times with local hospitals or places of worship.
About Respite Care
You now have a better knowledge of caregiver burnout and how to deal with it if you are suffering from it, but what happens when it is insufficient? That is why you should get in touch with Comfort Keepers in Rapid City! We offer tailored respite care as well as a variety of other senior care services. Whether you need a few hours a week to run errands, go to doctor appointments, and other important responsibilities, or you want to take a short vacation to recharge your batteries, one of our caregivers will be there for your loved one so you can be confident they are happy, well, and safe at home.
If you'd like to learn more about why you should select Comfort Keepers, our full spectrum of respite care services, or how to avoid burnout as a senior caregiver, please contact us online or call (605) 277-1870. Our agents are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions and schedule your free in-home consultation.