Have you ever found yourself feeling completely overwhelmed and exhausted by your responsibilities as a caregiver?
If so, it’s possible you have something called caregiver burnout. Caregiver burnout is caused by the stress of taking care of someone else, such as an older adult family member. The long-term stress eventually takes a toll on your physical and mental health. Because it can lead to serious problems, it’s important to recognize the signs of caregiver burnout and deal with them early. Below are some signs that you should never ignore.
Caregiver burnout can cause disinterest in your regular activities, including the things you have always enjoyed doing. For example, if you once loved to paint, but your canvases and paintbrushes have started to gather dust, you may have caregiver burnout.
Withdrawing from Your Family and Friends
Suffering from caregiver burnout can make you avoid spending time with people you care about. You might just feel too tired or not want to burden them with your bad mood. Whatever the reason, if it’s been quite some time since you’ve been with someone other than the older adult you’re caring for, you should take notice.
Getting Sick Easily
Ongoing stress can deplete your body’s ability to fight off illnesses. As a result, you may catch every cold that comes along or take longer than usual to recover from things you used to bounce back from. Part of this could be that you are neglecting your own health, which is common among caregivers who are focused on the health of their loved one. If you haven’t seen a doctor in a while, make an appointment for a checkup.
Drinking More or Abusing Medications
People with caregiver burnout sometimes turn to alcohol or drugs to make themselves feel better. They may feel like they are unable to sleep without drinking or rely too heavily on sleep medications.
If you have caregiver burnout, you may find yourself getting angry more easily. Perhaps you find yourself snapping at the older adult for things that are beyond your control. You may also lash out at those who are closest to you, be very impatient with strangers in public, or engaging in episodes of road rage.
Changing Eating Patterns
The stress of being a caregiver can make you eat differently than you used to. You may be inclined to eat more and to reach for unhealthy foods in an attempt to soothe your negative emotions. This can cause you to gain weight. It’s also possible that you’ll experience a lack of appetite that makes you lose weight.
If you’re dealing with caregiver burnout, consider contacting a home care agency to get help with some of your responsibilities as a caregiver. A home care provider can take some of the weight off your shoulders by spending time with the older adult so you can take a break. They can also run errands, help with house cleaning, and even cook meals.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Elder Care in Scotch Plains, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.
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