Before you take on the role of family caregiver, you should understand the positive and negative aspects of the job. You could become exhausted physically and mentally, leading to a poor quality of life. Here are some of the common signs of caregiver burnout and ways you can address them.
Feeling vulnerable, down, and hopeless is a major sign of burnout. The most important thing to remember is that you are never alone. Reach out to friends and family for assistance, or hire a professional caregiver to step in and ease your responsibilities to make caregiving more enjoyable and less stressful.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you are caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Montgomery families who want to avoid 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.
2. Difficulty Sleeping
It’s important to sleep during the night to rid the body of harmful toxins and maximize energy throughout the day. Caregiver burnout can cause disrupted sleeping patterns. To ensure you get the sleep you need, establish a bedtime routine for your loved one. If he or she sleeps better during the night, the odds of your rest being disrupted may reduce significantly.
3. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
To ease feelings of regret, anger, and irritation, some family caregivers turn to alcoholic beverages. The chemicals in alcohol provide temporary relief, but the lasting effects are dangerous to physical and mental health. Alcohol abuse can increase the risk of depression, heart disease, obesity, and hypertension. Instead of turning to alcohol, join a support group. Whenever caregiving becomes overwhelming, attend a group meeting to vent or look for ways to simplify your role.
Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Montgomery home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
4. Self-Inflicted Pain
If you want to cause physical, mental, or emotional pain to yourself or your loved one, this could be a major sign of caregiver burnout. The emotional damage from caregiving may make you act out violently when you become exhausted and irate. To address the negative emotions, take extended time away from caregiving to clear your mind, recharge, and develop a simpler schedule.
5. Weight Loss
It’s normal to eat an unhealthy snack or meal here and there due to a hectic schedule and lack of personal time. However, failing to get the nutrients your body needs could lead to weight loss. Stress might also cause you to overeat or stop eating altogether. Self-care is the key to being a good caregiver. You need to make time to eat and enlist the help of other family members to lighten your load.
When the caregiver role becomes too much to handle, instead of seeking help from others, you might shut everyone out completely. To prevent isolation, schedule social activities each week and spend time with people your own age.
If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional home care, Montgomery Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call us at (334) 581-9783.