Our parents cared for and loved us for years during our childhood. As they grow older, we are often tasked with caring for them in return. This can be a challenge to balance their care with our lifestyles and can sometimes result in caregiver burnout. Assisted living can help alleviate that burnout and allow you to have a less stressful relationship with your parents during their later years.
Causes of Caregiver Burnout
Caregiver burnout can be a very real result of providing full-time care to a loved one. Knowing the causes of burnout can help you identify them and address them as soon as they occur.
- Emotional exhaustion – Watching a loved one’s physical and mental health decline can be one of the hardest aspects of caregiving because you want to ensure that they are well taken care of. Accomplishing this may come at great personal expense to you as you sacrifice time with friends and family members.
- Physical exhaustion – The longer you are a caregiver, the more physically exhausted you may become. You realize that you have less energy than you once had. You may experience increased sleep disturbances, or despite a good night’s sleep, you wake up exhausted, and may also get sick more often due to the lack of self-care.
- Stress increases – Stress creates its own symptoms. You may feel less tolerant of daily events and obstacles, and have physical symptoms that can range from headaches to backaches. Stress can make you feel impatient, anxious, depressed, isolated, and worried, and can also make you begin to feel alone and that you have no support.
- Lack of respite – Caregivers often believe they can’t leave a senior to take a break. This can result in loneliness, isolation, and despair which, in turn, results in apathy and hopelessness.
- Lack of support – Caregivers will often care for a loved one without a support network. This is often manageable at the beginning of the caregiving duties, but as your loved one’s condition worsens and responsibilities become more intense, support is necessary.
Signs and Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout
Those who have surpassed their limit of caregiver stress without taking preventive or curative action often end up burning out and becoming less effective caretakers. Here are some signs and symptoms of caregiver burnout:
- Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
- A constant sense of feeling physically and emotionally exhausted, even after rest.
- Self-neglect due to lack of interest or not having enough time.
- The inability to relax and unwind, even when someone else is handling the caregiving duties.
- You become increasingly irritable and impatient with the person/people you are caring for.
- When you find no joy or satisfaction in caregiving anymore.
- You seem to have low immunity and catch colds frequently.
How Assisted Living Can Help
There’s no reason you need to feel guilty or ashamed about experiencing caregiver stress. Everyone has their limits and it’s okay to recognize them. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to seek help. Consider the benefits of a long-term care solution for your senior loved one, such as an assisted living community. In assisted living, your loved one will have access to support 24/7 from caring, trained professionals in a safe, welcoming environment. Assisted living brings peace of mind to both residents and their families, helping caregivers avoid burnout.
Are you or someone you know in need of additional help when caring for a family member? Visit our website and see how we can help give your loved one the care and attention they need.