Everyday Janet wakes up exhausted.
After trying to run her home-based business while caring full-time for her mother Betty, Janet falls into bed exhausted at night.
She hasn’t picked up her knitting needles in months because she’s too exhausted to knit . . .and can’t find fifteen minutes to herself to concentrate on knitting.
Even if she wanted to.
Betty complains often, and Janet rarely gets a “Thank you” or even a smile. There are constant interruptions when Janet tries to work. Often for something Janet thinks could wait.
Janet is frustrated and feels depressed. She gained 10 pounds this year, and has her regular check-up today.
At the doctor’s office, her blood pressure is elevated.
When the doctor walks into the exam room, Janet bursts into tears.
Stress has nothing to do with how much we love our family members.
You can love someone and still have frazzled nerves — even when they’re pleasant!
Like Janet when you are the caregiver for a loved one who can no longer care for herself you often have added stress. Then when a traumatic injury or illness complicates your regular caregiving, the added responsibility can destroy your daily schedule . . .increasing your stress even more.
What Are Some Signs of Stress In Elder Care?
Some signs of stress include:
- Short temper
- Always tired
- Frequent illness
- Weight gain or weight loss
You may have other signs of stress.
When you show signs of stress, you need to get help.
While stress is a part of every life, how you react to it affects how much stress you feel. And even whether you view the stress as a positive challenge or a negative problem.
Unrelieved, stress can lead to more serious problems and possibly affect your caregiving.
What Is Caregiver Burnout?
Caregiver burnout is the exhaustion associated with the stresses of caregiving.
Burnout goes beyond severe stress. Someone with burnout feels drained, unable to continue. It’s usually due to severe emotional, physical and mental stress. Such as the stresses many caregivers feel when providing 24/7 care for a close family member.
How Can Knowing the Signs Of Stress Help You Find Relief?
In recognizing the signs of stress you can take positive action to relieve the stress — before you get to burnout. Ways to relieve the stress of elder care can include:
- Ask for help
If you don’t ask, no one may offer. Ask other family members to help you or to pay for a professional when you need a break.
If you feel as if you will hurt someone or yourself get professional help now!
Call 911 or a help line or your doctor or other health professional.
- Get away safely
Even a weekend getaway can be a special time to renew and rejuvenate. You’ll need to arrange for another caregiver to assume your responsibilities while you’re gone.
- Stay physically active
Physical activity increases endorphin production in the brain. Endorphins give you a sense of positive well-being. And can help you cope with the stress of elder care.
Sometimes the work is just too much for one person.
Don’t quit! The person you’re caring for needs you. Find ways to delegate or outsource tasks.
Options to consider include
- Meals-on-Wheels . . .
- Nursing care for bathing and medical issues . . .
- Adult daycare to give you a break during the day . . .
- Housekeeping services.
- Join a support group
It helps to be around others who understand what you are going through.
Hey, it’s nice to know others face the same problems and challenges you do! Plus they may offer suggestions you haven’t thought of to your problems.
Suggestions that may just decrease your stress and increase your enjoyment in providing care for your loved one!
Caregivers are prone to stress.
Do You Know . . .?
A recent survey shows 31% of U.S. family caregivers feel highly stressed.
Caregivers often have schedules that are super-packed. And don’t have time to sort through a lot of information to find answers.
Short On Time?
Now you can experience relaxation and rejuvenation while uncovering the root of your stress and overwhelm using the tools inside Overcome the 3 Deadly Mistakes That Cause Stress, Overwhelm and Burnout ebook Package.
Click here for more information about The 3 ‘Deadly’ Mistakes That Cause Stress, Overwhelm and Burnout.
You owe it to yourself — and your loved ones — to check it out now!
Keep knitting to your heart’s delight — or someone else’s,
Ina Gilmore M.D. (ret.)
Ambassador of Elder Care, www.HowToLiveOnPurpose.com
Founder, CaregivingWithPurpose.com and TheKnittingYarn.com
“The Knitting Dr.”
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