Caregiving is a rewarding experience, and it gives you time to bond with your aging parent. However, the responsibility can also be emotionally, mentally, and physically draining. To prevent your body from becoming exhausted, you need to put your needs first and make time to do things that bring you joy. Here are some of the most common signs of caregiver burnout and a few ways to address each of them.
1. Lack of Energy
When you take on too much, your body loses energy, making it difficult to complete daily activities. The less energy your body has, the higher your risk of physical injuries, accidents, and ailments could be. To boost your energy levels, consider taking a break from your caregiving duties to focus on your health. You can seek help from family members or hire a professional caregiver to look after your loved one.
If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Fort Worth, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break.
2. Weight Gain
Working a full-time job and being a family caregiver can cut down on the ability to eat healthy and stay active. As a result, your weight could increase significantly. Weight gain is a top sign of caregiver burnout, but it can be addressed by simplifying the self-care process. For example, when preparing your loved one’s meals for the week, include some healthy options for yourself. You should also work out a few days each week, even if it’s only for 30 to 60 minutes per day.
3. Disrupted Sleep
Seniors often have difficulty sleeping during the night, which also disrupts the sleeping patterns of their caregivers. When family caregivers aren’t able to sleep, they become exhausted. Help your loved one sleep better at night by creating a bedtime routine that relaxes his or her mind and body. If your loved one’s sleeping habits get better, so could yours.
4. Excessive Drinking
What starts out as one glass of wine could turn into excessive drinking in the future. The chemicals in alcohol can help caregivers temporarily manage the negative emotions that accompany caregiving. However, these feelings are likely to re-emerge with time, and you could pick up a dangerous addiction. To prevent excessive drinking, find fun habits to help you manage the emotional side of caregiving. Some options include dancing, taking art classes, listening to music, and exercising.
One of the best ways to stave off the negative emotions that result from caregiving is to delegate your duties to a professional caregiver. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Fort Worth Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
5. Feelings of Resentment
Family caregivers are often thrown into the role without a choice or any prior experience. Giving up your free time and taking on such a serious role could lead to feelings of resentment. To prevent bitterness from building up, set boundaries and learn how to say no. Remember you are not alone and there are resources available for your loved one.
6. Chronic Stress
Worrying about your parent’s health can become depressing. You may wake up fearing the worst instead of enjoying the moment. If you continue to stress out about your loved one’s health, you could experience burnout. You can manage your stress levels by accepting your best, doing fun activities, and embracing the time you have with your loved one.
Caring for older adults can be an overwhelming task, especially if managed alone. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Fort Worth senior care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly parent, give us a call at (817) 720-5556 today.