The Four Signs of Caregiver Fatigue
Often as our parents get old, our first instinct is to take care of them ourselves. While this could serve as a band-aid solution, prolonged period of caring for a loved one can take a serious toll on a person’s health, especially if they are without professional assistance. Below are four signs to look out for when caring for your senior to prevent or lessen the damage of caregiver burnout.
Physical and Mental Fatigue
One of the earliest symptoms of caregiver burnout is feeling mentally or physically defeated after a full day of care. It’s now harder to keep up with the things you’ve previously enjoyed in life now that you have added a full-time caretaker duty into the mix. Things are out of balance, and you feel physically and mentally drained.
What is worse is you may experience difficulty sleeping after a full day of care. Stress can have the dual effect of leaving a person with no energy and little ability to rekindle it. Having to attend your senior in the day and not being able to regenerate energy at night can leave you tired and unwilling to go on.
Loss of Interest in Other People and Things You Enjoy
A major part of what makes our lives entertaining is the relationships we create with others and the activities we enjoy. When you’re forcing yourself to spend all your spare time caring for a loved one however, it may become very difficult to find time to enjoy the things you like. If your caregiving responsibilities leaves you with next to no spare time, both your social relationships and hobbies will suffer.
Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Stress often occupies a person’s mind when all they can think about is the health of their loved one. So much so that the last thing that they could care about is to stay healthy themselves. This may lead to unhealthy diets, either excessive binge eating or not eating at all. Consider reaching out for assistance if you realize fluctuations in weight since caring for your senior.
When caring for a loved one over a moderate period of time, many untrained caregivers start to show signs of impatience. The person you care for may be unable to move or speak, but controlling your temper is crucial to both your and their mental wellbeing. If you feel as if it has been harder to control your temper around your loved one or even other people, it may be a sign of caregiver fatigue which should best be attended to.
“I’m Not Good Enough”
It can be easy to lose sight when taking on another one or two persons’ worth of care-taking when attending for a loved one. You may have succeeded in caring for them in the past, but the tasks have been getting harder to keep up. This is the fourth sign of caregiver fatigue and a cue to seek out for professional support. Once the point is reached when a person no longer realize they are performing the job of 2 or more professionals, they may feel defeated and suffer other serious repercussions such as lack of self-worth.
Change for the Better, for Both You and Your Loved One
Reaching out for help does not mean giving up. Previously working the jobs of 2 or more people, you deserve a professional care giver as an ally in helping your loved one recover. Together, you will be happier knowing your loved one is being care to a higher standard, while also being able to take some long-overdue time off for yourself.
Reach out to Care At Home Services if you are experiencing any of the above four signs of caregiver fatigue – we would love to hear your situation and offer any help necessary.