Every one of you who takes care of an elderly, disabled, or chronically ill family member is doing it out of love, or respect. Or perhaps you do it out of the sheer feeling of doing the right thing. Whatever the reason may be, you are one of the millions of caregivers in Ohio who might find caregiving overwhelming from time to time.
A report by AARC and NAC states that a total of 53 million US adults are caregivers to one or more of their family members, which means every 1 in 5 adults. According to the American Psychological Association, 66% of the unpaid caregivers reported a minimum of one severe mental health symptom such as burnout and stress in 30 days.
Does that sound familiar to you? It must be because caregiver burnout is a real thing that can happen to any caregiver from homecare in Ohio. Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid it.
Caregiver burnout is a feeling of mental and physical exhaustion. You feel like you have no energy left in you to do anything, let alone take care of another person. Burnout also triggers the emotional feelings of detachment from the caregiving responsibilities. The person experiencing burnout may start distancing themselves from the one needing the care which ultimately leads to guilt and stress.
Caregiver burnout can occur when the caregiver is unable to get the help and time they need to reboot their energy as well as feel physically and emotionally fit to take care of their loved ones.
The symptoms of caregiver burnout can be detected at an early stage before they reach a dangerous level. Here are common signs to look out for:
Someone experiencing burnout will most likely stop enjoying the things they used to love. For instance playing video games, singing, gardening, painting, etc. You would find them abandoning their favorite hobbies even when they have some spare time.
Caregivers with burnout can feel hopeless, sad, and irritable about everything. You may ask them about their work or anything at all and they would get irritated at you for bothering them. They often seem blue and gloomy when they are sitting by themselves.
One of the common symptoms of caregiver burnout is sleep disturbance. The family caregivers have so much on their minds that they end up losing their sleep. Eventually, they form a pattern of troubled sleep cycles and you would always find them grouchy and sleepy, even at work.
With not enough time to take care of themselves, the family caregivers are sick more often than anyone else in the family. They cannot keep a check on their own health and fall victim to infections and frequent minor ailments like migraine and tension headaches.
Due to very little sleep, caregiving duties, and no rest, they are always exhausted. They don’t have the energy to feel alive or have fun. Every time you meet someone with caregiver burnout, they would have eye bags and wrinkles on their forehead because of how tired they are.
A major sign of burnout in family caregivers is their lack of social interaction after they start their caregiving responsibilities. They stop hanging out with their friends and family and prefer to spend their spare time at home feeling low and guilty.
There are many ways you can avoid caregiver burnout, here are some of them:
Eldercare in Ohio is not something everyone can do. Before you take on the responsibility of taking care of someone full time, be sure of your stamina and potential. Be honest with yourself and your family about whether or not you can take care of a sick or elderly human being.
When you start taking care of a loved one at home, don’t set any unrealistic expectations of their recovery. For instance, you have to accept that those with Parkinson’s or Alzheimers may need professional help at some point. So don’t tire yourself out trying to heal them on your own.
Support groups do the magic when you have a lot on your mind and no one to talk to. Getting to share your feelings and experiences with those in the same situation as you can help manage stress. You feel less alone and make new friends who understand your circumstances.
One of the best ways to avoid caregiver burnout is by getting respite care. Homecare providers in Ohio like Amazing Grace Homecare offer professional respite care services that allow you to take some off and work on yourself. You can learn more about it from this blog “Benefits Of Respite Care For Family Caregivers.”