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5 Signs that a Family Caregiver is burnt-out

By Sue McCormick Synergy Homecare
Posted

Has caregiving for a loved one taken a toll on you?

Caregiving for a loved one can be one of the most rewarding jobs on the earth.  You learn what it truly means to be selfless.  But eventually being available at all hours of the night, sacrificing your own life, and putting your needs second begins to take a toll.

No this doesn’t mean you are a bad person!  It means that eventually we all burnout a little and we need to find a way to recharge our engines.   Maybe you need a weekend off where you bring in a professional to help, or possibly another family member can step up and take some of the pressure off.  Many times the signs of burnout can be tough to notice.  Here are five simple things you can look for to know when it’s time to get some extra help.

1. Mood Changes
Everyone can be a little moody, but constant changes in your mood might mean that you are getting a little burnt out.  Sometimes it can feel like you are so busy caring for someone else that nobody is caring about you.  Well first and foremost you need to care about yourself!  It’s impossible take care of anyone if you are neglecting yourself.  Bringing positive energy when caring for someone else is extremely important.

2. Memory Loss
Forgot what you ate for breakfast?  Can’t remember the last time you took a shower relaxed for a couple mins?  Caregiving can make your life feel like it’s moving a mile a minute.  It’s easy to lose track of your own life and daily routine.  Try to find a healthy routine that not only has you worrying about all your caregiving tasks, but let’s you take some time to reflect about your own day.

3. Illness
If you find yourself getting constantly sick, that may be a sign that you are going too hard and too fast.  The human body can only take so much abuse and eventually your body can start fighting against itself.  Constant stress and depression can lead to illnesses.  Listen to your body and make sure you are evaluating your health.  The last thing you want to do is get a loved one sick as well.

4. Skipping Meals
Skipping meals is never a good option.  The one thing every caregiver needs to get through the day is energy and there is only once source of energy in the human body!  Skipping meals can lead to all types of medical issues and mood changes.  Make sure you keep you body fueled to get you through the day.

5. Sleep Deprivation
Sometimes when you are night time caregiver it can be very difficult to get a proper night's rest.  Still your body needs it’s sleep to function properly.  If you find yourself unable to sleep at night, take a nap, or even settle your thoughts before bed that may be a sign it’s time to take a step back.

Remember these are only a couple of symptoms that you may be suffering from caregiver burnout.  Most importantly you need to listen to your body and make sure you know when it’s time to ask for help!

Sue McCormick and Stacy Fotos are the owners of Synergy HomeCare North Atlanta and provide non-medical homecare to the seniors in the North Metro Atlanta area.  Their caregivers assist people of all ages with any activity of daily living and their goal is to keep your loved ones safe and in their home for as long as possible.  Call today for a free home assessment at 770-777-4781 or visit their website for more information. ■

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