Care giving is arguably the most rewarding and fulfilling, because behind every happy and healthy elderly is a family caregiver who enabled them to be. But the reality of care giving is much more than a picture of a joyful, stress-free senior.
There are diapers to change, irrational bouts of patient’s anger to calm down, and an aging, helpless parent to see through all the daily routines. It’s okay to feel helpless yourself. You aren’t alone. There are over 900,000 family caregivers in the Washington state going through the same struggles as you are.
The Caregiver Burnout
Being tired physically, emotionally, and mentally as a result of care giving is a reality many caregivers face. We call this “caregiver burnout.
It’s important that family caregivers are well aware of the signs of this problem because if left unchecked, it might lead to more serious health problems and may affect the loved one being cared for.
When you notice symptoms, take a short break from work to get yourself checked. Some senior home health care services in Seattle include respite care, which would give you the assurance that your loved one gets the support they need while you’re away.
One common sign of caregiver burnout is withdrawal from social circles. If you’ve been missing family gatherings lately because you lose interest in seeing them or in activities you previously enjoy doing with them, you might be experiencing burnout.
If you’ve been binge-eating or eating less than the usual also, this might signal exhaustion. In addition, irritability, along with excessive drinking, are signs of caregiver burnout.
Proactive Steps Against Burnout
To prevent burnout, it’s important to have someone you can talk to now and then about your feelings and frustrations. It doesn’t help to keep your struggles to yourself.
Talk to someone. Make sure to allot time for yourself as well, even if that’s just an hour or two a day. Remember, you can’t give what you don’t have. Self-love is key to effective care giving.
Care giving is one of the most challenging jobs. Unpaid and often underappreciated, it could take a toll on someone’s health. So for caregivers, take a time out now and then and take care of yourself. You need it.