Do you care for an aging relative? If so, you probably know a lot about the mental and physical health of your loved one – but how in touch are you with your own wellbeing? Caregivers frequently become the victims of burnout, suffering from the negative effects of stress and frustration.
Taking on the role of a caregiver for an ill or elderly relative is a generous, selfless act. But sometimes, caregivers give too much of their time and emotional energy, leaving them feeling drained and disheartened. Burnout can have negative consequences for all involved, so it is important to identify it early and seek out solutions. Here are some common signs of caregiver burnout to consider:
- You regularly feel frustrated, angry, or irritable with the person you’re caring for.
- You’re not as energetic as you used to be doing the same work.
- You can’t seem to be able to relax, even when there’s nothing for you to do.
- You no longer enjoy caring for your loved one.
- You don’t take care of yourself – by eating well, exercising, or maintaining good hygiene – as much as you used to.
- You regularly get sick with the cold, flu, or other common bugs.
- You feel tired, even when you’ve had enough sleep.
- You dread your visits to care for your relative.
- You feel helpless as a caregiver.
- You feel hopeless about the future.
Caregiver burnout can not only lead to negative effects for you as a caregiver, but it can also hurt your relationship with the loved one to whom you provide care. If you think you are suffering from burnout, it might be time to look into other options for caring for your loved one. See if a friend or relative can help out, or consider options for paid care, such as a home health assistant. If you feel your loved one can no longer live in his or her home independently, you may need to consider a care facility.
It can be hard to admit you’re feeling burned out. But remember: burnout does not mean that you no longer care for your loved one. The best thing you can do – for both of you – is to seek out alternative options. If you have questions about how to pay for long-term care, remember that the experts at Life Care Funding can offer you free resources and answers to your toughest questions. Contact us today with your comments, questions, or stories!