Caring for a senior, especially when that senior is a loved one, is a challenging task. Not only is caregiving physically demanding, but there’s a high degree of stress and an emotional factor involved, too. Because caregiving is so challenging, caregiver burnout is a very real possibility. This psychological condition is caused by stress, and it’s important to be able to recognize caregiver burnout so that you can take care of yourself, too.
10 Signs That May Indicate You’re Experiencing Caregiver Burnout
The below 10 signs may indicate that you’re experiencing caregiver burnout.
Lack of Energy
If you’re getting burned out, you may find that you have less energy than normal. Even small, everyday tasks like doing the dishes or running errands may seem overwhelming and challenging.
Issues with Sleep
Caregivers who are experiencing burnout often have issues with sleep. These issues can present as insomnia, unusual sleep patterns, or even increased sleep without feeling rested.
Loss of Interest in Activities
You may find that you start to lose interest in activities that you once enjoyed. You may feel like your caregiving duties are taking over your life, and you have little energy or interest in other hobbies or activities.
Uncharacteristic Impatience or Other Attitude Changes
Do you notice that your attitude is changing? Maybe you’re unusually impatient or short with your friends or family members. These attitude changes can be a symptom of caregiver burnout.
Depression is another serious symptom to watch out for. You may start to feel hopeless, frustrated, and sad more often than you feel happy. You’ll always feel some amount of sadness or grief as you watch a loved one face health issues that accompany aging, but if your sadness becomes pervasive and doesn’t lift, you may be depressed. Be sure to consult a doctor for help.
Eating Habit Changes
You may find that your eating habits change. Sometimes caregivers who are too stressed and tired overeat, while others may under-eat. You may see weight changes that accompany these different eating habits.
Problems Coping with Typical Challenges
Life always confronts us with challenges, and usually we can adjust to these issues just fine. Small things, like a last-minute schedule change or a flat tire are typically no big deal, but when you’re experiencing caregiver burnout, you may find you overreact to these problems.
Physical Problems Like Headaches and Stomachaches
Suffering from unusual and frequent headaches and stomachaches? These may be the result of the stress that you’re experiencing from caregiving.
When you prioritize someone else’s care needs over your own, you may inadvertently sacrifice your health and get sick as a result. The strain of constant stress and a busy schedule can also leave you vulnerable to illnesses.
Frustration With Yourself or the Person You’re Caring For
Do you find yourself frustrated with yourself or with the person that you’re caring for? When you’re trying to do too much as a caregiver without the help that you need, you may get frustrated with the situation.
How to Get Help
If you’re experiencing some of the above symptoms, then it’s time to make a change. You’ll want to see a doctor about some of the symptoms, including depression, sleep issues, and frequent illnesses to make sure there’s no physical cause. Then, it will be time to restructure your caregiving.
When you’re suffering from caregiver burnout, you need help. You’ll need someone else to assist with the caregiving so that you can take some time off to tend to your own emotional and physical needs. A home caregiver may be the perfect solution.
If you’re experiencing caregiver burnout, you don’t have to go it alone. At Cahoon Care, we offer many different caregiving options and can step in to supplement your caregiving and reduce your stress. Please contact us today to learn more.