Don't Ignore these Signs of Caregiver Burnout
May 2, 2018
To burn out means to exhaust all the fuel until there is nothing left. It is often used in relation to motors, forest fires and other combustible situations. Increasingly, the term is being applied to chronic stress, especially to family caregivers.
Because caring for an elderly relative can create endless work with few breaks for the family member, they can experience caregiver burnout if they don’t find respite. Its easy to see how a caregiver can go and go until they exhaust themselves mentally and physically. When it comes to caring for a chronically sick or disabled elderly relative, family caregivers absolutely must find ways to deal with the chronic stress that is part of the job.
If family caregivers don’t manage their stress levels, they can actually be harming their physical and mental health. Recognizing the signs of caregiver burnout is the first step toward finding solutions on how to balance everything out.
Here are 5 warning signs of caregiver burnout:
1. Neglecting physical care.
The fist thing that family caregivers tend to do when they feel overwhelmed is to neglect their diet and exercise routines. Instead of healthy meals and regular activity, they eat on the run and skip their workouts.
2. Withdrawing from pleasant activities.
When time is short, family caregivers tend to sacrifice the things that give them pleasure, like lunch with friends, reading books, doing hobbies, and other activities that recharge their emotional batteries.
3. Unexplained ailments.
Chronic stress can lead to all kinds of physical aches and pains, such as headaches, stomach aches, and indigestion. Family caregivers may notice that they catch colds more often because their immune system is weaker.
4. Mood swings.
It’s not uncommon for stressed-out family caregivers to experience mood swings, going from irritable and angry to sad and hopeless. Other symptoms are feelings of hopelessness, frustration, anxiety, and resentment.
5. Not receiving help.
Caring for an elderly adult is more than a one-person job. Family caregivers that don’t have help from other family members, home care aides, and others are at risk of burnout.
The best way to prevent caregiver burnout is to ensure that the family caregiver has adequate help and enough time to tend to their own needs. Many family members hire home care aides to come on a regular schedule to bathe, dress, groom, and feed their aging relative. They are professional and reliable, giving the stressed family caregiver time for themselves.
To be an excellent family caregiver, people need to realize that doing it all alone with no breaks leads to bigger problems with health and wellness. It’s worth it to recruit family members and hire home care services to help balance out the responsibility of caring for an elderly loved one.
If you or your loved one is looking for caregiver services in Atherton, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.
Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990
San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777
Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990