Are You Suffering With These Signs of Caregiver Burnout?
The life of a caregiver is full of stress.
For example, you may have to help your aging mother go to the bathroom, prepare her meals, and ensure she is safe from falling. Often, these duties are in addition to your responsibilities at your job.
Now add into the mix that you’re caring for a spouse and child.
If this sounds familiar, then according to the Family Caregiver Alliance, you are one of the 43.5 million caregivers in the United States, providing a total estimate of $400 billion in unpaid services.
But the bottom line is this means there’s very little time to take care of yourself, and that can result in caregiver burnout.
But what is caregiver burnout? What are the symptoms and how can assisted living make a difference?
What Is Caregiver Burnout?
Caregiver burnout is a term used to describe the almost constant state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that accompanies the responsibility of long-term caregiving.
It frequently occurs when caregivers either don’t get the help they need or they try to do more than they are physically, financially or mentally able to.
What Are Some Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout?
Still wondering what is caregiver burnout? These symptoms will clarify it, but just be aware that symptoms may vary from person to person. You’ll also find that these are very similar to the signs of depression. Symptoms include:
- Withdrawal from those they love
- Lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Feeling helpless
- Changes in appetite and/or weight
- Disruptive sleep patterns—either having difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Getting sick more often
- Emotional and physical exhaustion
- Thoughts of self-harm. If you—or someone you know—is thinking of hurting themselves, please call 911 or immediately go to your nearest emergency room.
These conditions can become serious if you do not pay attention to the early burnout symptoms and you can’t answer the question: What is caregiver burnout?
What Do You Do If You Have Caregiver Burnout?
It’s important to recognize the symptoms of caregiver burnout and honestly evaluate yourself. We understand that you want to be able to care for those you love, but often, doing so can take a toll on your health, both physically and psychologically.
Therefore, there are some things you can do if you believe you’re developing burnout symptoms. Some of these include:
Ask for Help
Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s perfectly acceptable to reach out to friends and family for assistance when you need it.
Find a Support Network
This could be either a formal support group, close family or friends, or even a therapist or clergy member. This support network is vital for helping you process thoughts and feelings. Being able to honestly and completely express your concerns can keep you from becoming overwhelmed.
Be Honest About What You Can and Can’t Do
Most caregivers want to be everything to everybody, and this simply isn’t possible. Understand that limitations are not weaknesses. Say “no” if you believe a task may be too difficult, time-consuming or stressful.
Give Yourself a Break
Even a short break of a few hours can help you regain your energy. Be sure to do activities that you enjoy and participate in things that will help you relax.
Don’t Withdraw From Others
When you’re immersed in the hectic schedule of caregiving, it’s very easy to withdraw from your friends and extended family. However, it’s precisely in these times when we need the support of others the most. Don’t isolate yourself.
Take Care of Yourself
What is caregiver burnout and what can you do about it? It may sound cliché, but it is true: You cannot care for someone else unless you are adequately taking care of yourself. Don’t forget to pay attention to your own needs and your health. This includes:
- Eating well
- Getting enough sleep
- Taking time off work (You may want to consider looking into family and medical leave)
Consider Assisted Living Options
In assisted living communities, your loved one can have help with everyday activities such as dressing and bathing, leaving you free from worry.
Millions of Americans have found the benefits of living at assisted living communities such as those at Cedar Cove—meaning you don’t have to quit your job to care for a parent.
To learn more about caregiver burnout, you can review this useful information from the Cleveland Clinic.
What Is Caregiver Burnout? Cedar Cove Provides Relief for Caregiver Burnout Through Peace of Mind
We understand. You worry about the ones you love.
After all, you’ve been there for them during their most difficult times. You’ve spent untold hours taking care of them because you care so deeply about them.
Now, allow us to take the role of caregiver so you can return to your role as son, daughter, or spouse. At Cedar Cove, our assisted living program provides extensive benefits, including delicious meals, regular activities, and supervision. We also have a memory care unit dedicated to helping those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Caregiver burnout can become serious. When you’re unable to take care of yourself, you not only place your health at risk, but you also make it difficult to assist your loved one.
We can help. Visit our family-owned facility to see why our residents love living at Cedar Cove. Contact us to schedule a tour.