Caregiving for a loved one who needs assistance throughout their everyday activities can be a rewarding experience. However, it can quickly become stressful and frustrating, eventually leading to burnout. Feelings of guilt, exhaustion, anger, and even rage are all signs that it’s time to ask for help. Thankfully, with caregiving services that are available today, you can find peace of mind with high-quality help to care for a loved one from a trained and thoughtful homecare professional.
When the primary family caregiver feels overwhelmed with caregiving, it can result in burnout or a crisis. To avoid these possible outcomes, take note of these seven key warning signs of stress to recognize when it’s time to reach out for help and start taking care of yourself before the onset of a crisis or exhaustion.
You Feel Exhausted All the Time
When a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other severe chronic conditions, it can be painful to witness. Still, you want to do all that you can to make life easier for them. During the initial stages, you felt motivated and determined to assist them in every way you can to provide the love and support you know they deserve. But as time moves onward and the disease progresses, simple tasks become more time consuming and can lead to burnout and exhaustion. Taking on daily responsibilities of caregiving, along with maintaining the duties of your own life, is hard to juggle on your own.
You Withdraw from Activities
As exhaustion and stress begin to weigh more heavily on you, you might withdraw from daily activities with family and friends. Feelings of anger and resentment for taking on the responsibility alone can impact your own life. This mainly happens when you allow it to consume all your time, with nothing left for yourself to enjoy at the end of each day. Be sure to be kind to yourself as well as those you are caring for.
If you’re feeling drained physically and mentally with a reduced drive to get things done, it’s a sign that you’re burning out. Caregiving can take up a lot of time and consume a great deal of energy, and it’s important to know when to say “no” and protect your wellness. When it reaches the point that you mutter that you’re “too tired for this,” it’s gone too far. Be sure to watch out for this sign.
You Feel Angry Towards Your Loved Ones
Eventually, exhaustion combined with feelings of resentment can stir up anger towards your loved ones, and not only towards those you care for, but also other family members, especially those whom you think should have relieved you even without your asking. Dealing with the disease(s) and the behavioural changes that come along with it can become frustrating, causing bouts of anger towards them. This is a definite warning sign of caregiver stress. Something must change, and quickly.
You Constantly Worry About Their Safety
Beyond any physical caregiving, taking on the mental responsibility and worrying about their safety — even when you’re not with them — can become very taxing on your emotional and physical well-being. This constant concern can cause heavy stress and result in your burning out more quickly. Be sure to find ways to stay calm and in control of your emotions.
Your Health Begins to Suffer
Neglecting your own health when caregiving for a loved one can be a universal sign that you’re taking on more than you can handle. It’s important to recognize when your own health begins to suffer. You should also train yourself to understand that it’s okay and very reasonable to be unable to handle everything on your own with no support. Nobody is a superhero, including you, and it’s crucial to keep this in mind.
Depression that Reduces Your Ability to Care
If there’s one thing a caregiver needs to be, it’s caring. Burning out can result in having to live with depression that drains your vitality and ability to care. Be sure to address it before it goes too far, as you could damage your own mental and emotional health in the process if the depression persists. Pay attention to depressed feelings or apathy—they will reduce your ability to care.
Caregiver stress is a genuine and prevalent issue. When a family member or loved one is suffering, we want to be there for them when they need you the most. However, what many family caregivers don’t realize is that this is something that can be extremely difficult to tackle solo. Reaching out for help from family or through a professional home care service built on a thoughtful reputation can provide the assistance and relief that you and your loved ones need. Contact Choice Homecare Ottawa today at 613-907-3191.