Why Is Caregiver Burnout So Serious?
While it is true that being the primary senior caregiver for an aging loved one can be an incredibly rewarding experience, it can also be incredibly tiresome. When a caregiver doesn’t have enough time to rest and recuperate after a long day, it can lead to a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion also known as caregiver burnout.
Did you know women have been found to be more susceptible to caregiver burnout than men and those who are responsible for helping someone with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or a debilitating illness are also at a high risk of developing their own medical issues?
At Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Herndon, VA, and the surrounding area, we know how serious caregiver burnout can be which is why we’ve created a list of the most common symptoms caregivers experience, as well as a list of healthy coping strategies to try.
What Does Burnout Feel Like?
There are a number of early warning signs that you or a loved one who is a senior caregiver may be experiencing burnout. Two of the most common to be aware of are increased feelings of fatigue and irritability.
Other signs that you are experiencing burnout could include:
Losing control physically or emotionally
Loss of interest in activities which you previously enjoyed
Changes in appetite, weight, or both
When you notice these changes it is crucial that you or your loved one take action quickly, as these feelings are likely to worsen over time if they are ignored. There are a number of excellent options you can look into but, for many, finding the right healthy coping mechanism is a step in the right direction.
How Can I Cope With Burnout In A Healthy Way?
Choosing the coping strategy that works best for you can sometimes seem overwhelming with all of the options but, the key is to keep trying. Remember that what works for someone else isn’t necessarily going to work for you and vice versa. Maybe you find that keeping an active social life helps you let go of the caregiver headspace at the end of the day, while someone else will find that adding watchdog technology to their loved one’s home, such as medical alert jewelry or strategically placed pressure-sensitive floor mats, lets them have a little extra time for themselves.
In order to help you get started, we’ve included a few more ideas you can try:
Find a hobby: The sky is 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.
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.
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 If I’m Still Feeling Burnt Out?
Even with the knowledge you have about caregiver burnout and healthy coping mechanisms, sometimes you will find that you need a little more help. This is where Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Herndon, VA, and the surrounding area can step in! We offer respite care services for individuals who need a little time to recharge their caregiving batteries, take care of important appointments, or anything else they just can’t seem to find time to do. Our care plans are not only flexible but can include any number of our core care services including respite care, transitional care, dementia and Alzheimer’s care, and more.
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 Herdon, VA, please contact us online anytime or call us at (703) 424-9519. Our operators are available 24/7 to answer your questions and schedule your free in home consultation.