If you’re taking care of a senior loved one, it’s only normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes. It’s a lot of responsibility. However, it’s also possible to reach a point where caregiving makes you feel burnt out. You may need to take different steps to mentally and physically recover when this happens.
Here’s more information on what caregiver fatigue is (also called caregiver burnout) and how to treat it.
What Is Caregiver Fatigue?
Caregiver fatigue is the feeling of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion from providing caregiving to someone.
There are a few reasons why you might experience caregiver fatigue/caregiver burnout:
- You’re overwhelmed by the demands placed on you by the person you’re caring for.
- You also feel torn to meet the needs of others in your life, such as partners, children, or work colleagues.
- Depending on what’s wrong with your senior loved one, you may feel frustrated that they won’t get better, no matter how much caregiving you provide.
What Are the Symptoms?
Caregiver burnout/fatigue can have many symptoms. Here is a sampling of its signs and symptoms; for a more complete list, check out the Health-line article at the following link:
- Aches and pains that are new for you, such as headaches
- Avoiding activities that you usually enjoy
- Feeling emotionally exhausted
- Not sleeping well
- Not wanting to interact with others
- Weight changes
- Worrying a lot
Caregiver burnout doesn’t just affect your own health. It also could lead to neglect of the senior loved one in your life. This is yet another reason (among many reasons) to address burnout.
It also could lead some to turn to alcohol or drugs to cope.
Treating Caregiver Burnout
The first step to treating caregiver burnout is to acknowledge it. It’s OK if you feel completely fatigued. You’re only human!
- Take the time to talk to someone about your frustrations. This can help relieve some of the mental burden you may feel. It’s also valuable for many to talk with a mental health professional. Thanks to the pandemic, mental health counseling is more available nowadays both online and in person and at a range of price points.
- Look for extra help. Whether this means hiring someone for a couple of hours of in-home care each week or deciding that your loved one needs an assisted living facility, discover what options are available so the burden is not completely on you.
- Find time for yourself. If you’re a caregiver, we realize that finding time for you is easier said than done. Many caregivers find it easy to neglect self-care, but your own care is just as important as care for your senior loved one. Decide how and when you can carve out time for healthy choices and a little relaxation regularly.
- Talk to your doctor. For some, caregiver burnout is associated with depression and sometimes physical pain. If you feel effects from this burnout beyond your control, turn to your primary health provider for additional ways to manage and improve your health. If you prefer a more natural route, you also can consult with trusted acupuncturists, chiropractors, or holistic health providers.
Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Care Management
At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.