What Does It Mean When You Are Burnt Out?
It can be a joy and a privilege to care for an aging family member, providing them assistance with daily tasks. You have the opportunity to get to know them better and spend precious time with them every day. But this can be very taxing and stressful for you if you don’t have a good support system or the ability to take time for yourself. This is when a senior caregiver is most likely to experience burnout.
Did you know half of adult caregivers say it’s moderately or very difficult to balance work and caregiving?
When you’re feeling burnt out it is easy to assume that the feeling is only temporary but, for many people that simply isn’t the case. At Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Olympia, WA, and the surrounding area, we know that you want to provide the best care you can for your loved one, which is why we put together a list of common burnout symptoms along with healthy coping mechanisms to try.
What Are The Signs Of Caregiver Burnout?
While there are many symptoms that can be attributed to burnout, two that you’ll likely notice first as a senior caregiver are fatigue and irritability. You may also begin to dread and anxiety when caring for your loved one or even guilt for having those feelings at all.
Other signs that you are experiencing burnout could include:
Changes in sleep patterns
Lack of energy to do new things
Getting sick more often
As hard as it can be to acknowledge these feelings, it is incredibly important you do so sooner rather than later. If you don’t take care of yourself and mental health, these feelings can become worse and even potentially affect how you care for your loved one. Luckily, there is no shortage of healthy coping mechanisms you can try!
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:
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.
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.
Schedule time for your health: While caregivers may spend a lot of time in doctor’s offices, it is often to accompany the senior they care for rather than for their own appointments. One way to combat this is by making your own appointments for regular exams, flu shots, dental visits, and the like at the same time you arrange a loved one’s.
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 have any questions about Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Olympia, WA and the surrounding area, our full list of care services, or if you’d like to learn more about senior caregiver burnout and how you can avoid it, please contact us online anytime or call us at (360) 226-2737. Our agents are available round the clock to answer your questions and schedule your free in home consultation.