Family members who care for aging parents may feel honored to do something that can bring cheer and comfort to their senior loved ones. However, those emotions can quickly give way to stress, fatigue, and burnout. If you’re a caregiver, it’s helpful to know six warning signs of caregiver burnout and what to do about them.
Stress is part of the fight-or-flight response that protects humans when they feel threatened. Caregivers can experience chronic stress. Responding to another person’s needs continually can lead to unhealthy levels of stress. Hypertension, chest pain, panic attacks, and anxiety are all products of chronic stress. Stress can also wreak havoc on relationships, causing individuals to lose interest in sex and other activities. In-home respite care offers stress relief by enabling you to take a break, whether it’s for a few hours or a week.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. San Antonio families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.
Fatigue is a state of extreme tiredness or exhaustion. It’s what you experience when you’ve been working nonstop and cannot muster the energy to complete another task, yet you must keep going. Fatigue makes you feel worn out and can affect you physically and mentally. Whenever possible, lessen fatigue by taking time to rest or sleep while your loved one is sleeping.
3. Difficulty Sleeping
The inability to get a good night’s rest leaves you tired the next day. The uncertainty associated with caregiving can cause sleeplessness. Worrying about your loved one and thinking about other responsibilities can make it difficult to get the sleep you desperately need. Avoiding heavy meals at night, not watching television in your bedroom, turning off electronics that emit light, and taking a warm bath before going to bed may help you fall asleep sooner. If sleepless nights persist, ask your healthcare provider for suggestions.
4. Changes in Eating Habits
As a caregiver, you may overeat as a source of comfort or fail to eat because you can’t find the time or don’t feel like eating. Extreme changes in eating habits can lead to hypertension, diabetes, low energy, and nutritional deficiencies. Fresh fruit, low-fat cheese, and whole-grain cereal are examples of healthy foods you can enjoy when you’re busy. Don’t forget to drink enough healthy fluids to stay hydrated.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, you don’t have to manage everything on your own. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted elder care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
5. Depression & Hopelessness
Losing interest in the things you love, dreading getting out of bed, and feeling sad are all signs of depression. Depression can arise from isolation, loneliness, and thinking a situation isn’t going to get any better. If you’re having these feelings, seek help from a professional counselor.
Irritability can be caused by a combination of fatigue, sleep deprivation, and stress. Your loved one continually calling out for you or asking repeated questions may lead to you becoming angry or short-tempered. Irritability may cause you to respond to your loved one in a hostile manner, and it can even lead to verbal or physical abuse. Request help from siblings or others so you can get away from the situation and clear your mind. In-home respite care is a great option because you can depend on getting relief when you need it.
If you’re experiencing caregiver burnout, consider looking for a professional caregiver who’s compassionate, reliable, and experienced in senior home care. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior home care. San Antonio families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (210) 495-6300.