Caring for a loved one who is not capable of being responsible for themselves comes with many challenges. However, you continue to care for them because you only want what is best for their well-being. You may be making some sacrifices in your personal life, but are you caring for yourself? If not, you could be experiencing “caregiver burnout.”
According to WebMD, caregiver burnout is defined as “a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude – from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned.”
Here are the common warning signs you should be aware of:
- Lack of motivation – If you have no desire to interact with people or participate in social events, it’s possible that caring for your loved one could be draining your energy levels.
- You are no longer interested in hobbies – If you’ve ceased to participate in hobbies that you once looked forward to and loved, this could mean that taking care of your loved one may be weighing on you.
- Poor eating habits – Change in eating patterns could be due to stress. Whether your are suddenly eating too much or not enough, it may be time to take a break from caregiving to get yourself back to eating right.
- Lack of sleep – Trouble falling asleep or waking up often during the night may indicate that the responsibility of taking care of your aging loved one has become straining.
- Chronic illnesses – Stress is known to have an adverse effect on the immune system. Chronic colds and other illnesses are a sign that you could be under extreme stress and you should consider cutting back your caregiving hours.
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your loved one – Having thoughts of suicide or wanting to harm the person you are caring for is an extreme sign of caregiver burnout. Find alternative care for your loved one as soon as possible and seek professional help.
Assisting someone around the clock who has special needs, whether physically or mentally is taxing in many ways, but it’s the love and compassion that drives you to ensure they are happy and healthy. If you are experiencing caregiver burnout and need help caring for your aging parent or loved one, The Arbors Assisted Living can help. Contact us to learn more.