Although being a family caregiver can be very rewarding, it can also be one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do. Because of the stress and added work, caregiving puts you at risk for developing caregiver burnout. Caregiver burnout occurs when an individual reaches a point where they feel utterly exhausted—physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you believe you may be suffering from caregiver burnout, or even if you don’t, knowing the symptoms is vital in getting the help you need when you need it. Below are signs of caregiver burnout to watch for.
Withdrawing from Socializing
People suffering from caregiver burnout sometimes avoid spending time with others. After caring for an older adult all day, they may feel like they have nothing left to give anyone else. As a result, they may find it easier to just be alone. This may mean turning down invitations to family gatherings, lunch out with a friend, and other social gatherings.
Getting Ill Easily
The stress of caregiving can lead to physical illness. This can happen for a couple of reasons. First, you may be so run down that your immune system is compromised. This may be the result of not eating well, not exercising, and not getting enough sleep. Second, many caregivers neglect their own health because they are so busy taking care of someone else. They may not go to medical appointments or keep up with the care they need to manage existing conditions of their own.
Having caregiver burnout can cause you to feel irritable much of the time. You might find yourself snapping at others for no apparent reason. You might even lash out at the person you are caring for.
Avoiding Hobbies and Other Enjoyable Activities
Caregiver burnout can leave you feeling like you don’t have the energy to do anything outside of your required tasks. That means you could be uninterested in doing things you once enjoyed. You may not want to do a craft you usually love or engage in a hobby, like golfing, fishing, or gardening.
You’re Drinking More or Taking Excessive Sleep Aids
Caregiver burnout can cause you to rely more on alcohol or other substances to feel better. A single glass of wine or beer in the evening may turn into two, then three, and so on. Or, you might take sleep aids or painkillers inappropriately because they help you to escape.
If you recognize the signs of caregiver burnout in yourself, seek medical help. There are treatments for the stress you’re experiencing, and counseling may also help. In addition, get help from other family members with caregiving duties or contact a home care agency to hire assistance.
If you or an aging loved one needs a Caregiver in Sacramento, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.