06 Jan Are You at Risk for Caregiver Burnout?
If you are providing care at home for an aging or ill loved one, you might feel that “me time” isn’t a priority. If you have put yourself at the bottom of your long list of priorities, you’re not alone. Caregivers often become so focused on caring for their loved one that they don’t carve out enough time to take care of themselves.
You, undoubtedly, are trying to do what you think is best for your loved one, but you may, in fact, be doing yourself and your loved one a disservice.
As the health experts at the Mayo Clinic say, “Caring for a loved one strains even the most resilient people.” That’s why they say it’s important for caregivers to carve out enough time to take care of their own health and well-being.
Make a resolution to take care of yourself as well as your loved one
When you neglect your own needs, you can put yourself at risk of developing caregiver burnout.
“Caregiver burnout,” as the health experts at WebMD explain, “is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. It may go along with a change in attitude — from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can happen when you don’t get the help you need, or if you try to do more than you’re able — either physically or financially.”
The symptoms of caregiver burnout may include:
- Reduced energy levels
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach upset
WebMD’s experts point out that, “Many caregivers also feel guilty if they spend time on themselves rather than on their ill or elderly loved ones.” But how are you going to be able to be there for them if you succumb to burnout?
Get the help and support you need
It’s important to recognize that you can’t do it all and ask for the help you need – whether it’s from family members or a professional home health aide.
You may also find it helpful to talk to someone who understands the stress you are under. Here at Friends for Life Homecare Service, we have a free monthly caregiver support group.
If we can help you avoid caregiver burnout with hourly home care or live in home care, please contact us.