As the population ages, more primary caregivers continue to willing undertake tough, and at times unpleasant tasks for their loved ones. Care giving has its difficult moments. A study by the American Psychological Association found that 23% of caregivers in elderly care had higher levels of stress hormones than non-caregivers. Additionally, a 2018 survey by Genworth reported that 41% of caregivers suffered from signs of depression, mood swings, and resentment towards the person they take care of. These symptoms could be signs of underlying problems-caregiver stress and burnout.
10 Warning Signs of Caregiver Stress
- Overwhelming exhaustion and fatigue.
- Sleeping difficulties.
- Depression and mood swings.
- Social withdrawal from activities you once enjoyed.
- Feeling anxious all the time.
- Becoming angry, impatient, or irritable with the person you are taking care of.
- Inability to concentrate for long periods.
- Frequent headaches, stomach aches, and other mild illnesses.
- Change in eating habits.
- Denial of your loved one’s condition.
Caregiving can be overwhelming, with 31% of caregivers describing the overall experience as stressful. Enlisting help, such as senior home care services, may help improve the situation. Here are five tips to guide you through the elderly care burnout.
1. Ask For Help
Needing help doesn’t necessarily mean you are a terrible caregiver. It means you can’t do it on your own (No one can!). You can invite friends and family over to help you handle specific chores or tasks. Besides, you may decide to look for in home elderly care services. The programs provide a secondary caregiver that will help you with daily tasks such as grocery shopping and tidying up.
2. Permission to Take a Break
It is good and healthy for you to get out of the house for a while. You may ask home care services or your friends to fill in for the moment you will be out. Pamper yourself with things that you love. Perhaps take a walk or go to a movie or dinner. These activities may help you relax and be rejuvenated and be ready to continue taking care of your loved one.
3. Take Care of Yourself
You should set up personal health goals that guide you in keeping fit. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep and exercise regularly. Eating healthy food is part of the revitalizing program. Avoid skipping your doctor’s appointments, and be sure to talk to the physician about how you feel. Daily relaxation and meditation exercises may also help to calm you.
4. Tap Online Resources
Research shows that 80% of seniors suffer from one chronic disease, while 68% have to or more. Elderly care may seem challenging with these facts, but you are not alone. The US Eldercare Locator may connect you with local agencies on aging, which can offer resources in the community that deals with the challenges in senior care.
5. Join a Support Group
Finding other caregivers in your locality may offer the necessary validation and encouragement to move on. The group provides social support as you talk about your feelings, thus lifting your spirits. You may also get solutions to the challenges you face from the meetings.
Elderly care can be stressful, repetitive, and exhausting. However, you are not alone. There are strategies and support to make you a happier and better caregiver to your loved one. Enlisting the services of in home care services is one of the ways to protect yourself from burnout.