Do you know that often by the time you actually feel thirsty, you may already be already dehydrated?
The same thing happens with stress. By the time a caregiver is feeling stress, it may be too late . . .
When Janet complained of arm pain when knitting and fatigue all the time, her three sisters ignored her.
They knew Janet was essentially caring alone for their elderly mother. All of the sisters had families of their own. Janet lived closest to their mother.
And they just figured she needed to handle the situation.
Their eyes were opened when they got a call from Janet’s husband.
Janet was in the ICU with unstable angina. A warning sign of an impending heart attack.
Why do caregivers like Janet allow stress to overwhelm them?
Caregivers are GIVERS . . .
There’s no other way they can give care under difficult and sometimes heart-breaking situations.
And they often use up their inner resources long before asking for help.
How can you as a caregiver be able to tell when it is time to ask for help . . .?
By admitting caregiver burnout.
Do you know what job burnout is?
That’s when you hate going to work . . .hate getting ready for work . . .and may even hate just getting up in the morning on work days.
Disillusioned — you look for an escape.
Most people experience that kind of job burnout sometime.
Time is needed to step back. To look at it from a different perspective.
If left alone, it may get worse, forming a downward spiral like the water draining from a
bathtub . . .even possibly requiring help or intervention to escape its pull.
Caregiving is the same.
When you are someone’s primary caregiver, it means that you are constantly in contact with the person you’re caring for. And exposed to those stresses and frustrations daily . . .maybe hourly.
Add to that responsibilities in addition to caregiving, and your stress multiplies.
Here are a few signs that you may be sinking and need a life preserver:
- Feelings of sadness and low spirits
- Resentment towards the one you give care to
- Impatience or inability to understand the feelings of your loved one
- Too little sleep
- Too much sleep
- Constant exhaustion
- Frequently ill
- Problems outside caregiving, such as on your job
- Losing or gaining weight
Are these the only caregiver burnout symptoms?
No, these are just some of the symptoms.
Any of these symptoms is a cry for help that needs answering.
When you try to work through the signs of burnout without help, you are not doing any favors to yourself or your loved one . . .
You may actually be causing great harm to both of you!
How can ignoring the signs of burnout make things worse for you both?
Well, when you end up with a stress-related illness, who will provide elder care for the one in your care?
When you’re stressed and short-tempered is that upsetting the one you’re caring
for . . .making a stressful situation worse?
Where can you get help?
Ask other family members for help. They may not realize how much stress you’re under. And you may be surprised how willing they are to help.
If your family can’t relieve you in actual caregiving maybe they can contribute in other ways. They could check out options for you, or maybe even help by paying for professional services.
Elder care local options may include:
- An adult or senior day care center . . .
- A professional providing some home care . . .
- Your county nurse providing services . . .
- Office of Aging services . . .
- Other activities such as senior centers.
Any break you can get on a regular basis will help decrease your stress, while providing a needed break for both of you.
Don’t wait until the symptoms of burnout overwhelm you!
1. Regularly schedule stress reduction.
This could be as simple as knitting. Or maybe you need an outing to look at your local yarn store.
Your loved one may enjoy interacting with others at a senior center or church activities.
2. Accept outside help.
Maybe you need help with housekeeping.
Or someone to watch your loved one for a while.
3. Ask for help.
If you wait for someone to offer, the offer may never come.
By being proactive, asking and accepting help you can prevent burnout.
Looking for a unique way to inspire yourself or others?
For more information click on the image below or this link
Keep knitting to your heart’s delight — or someone else’s,
“The Knitting Dr.”
The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It does not replace information or recommendations from your own physician or other health care provider. This site does not advocate medical or other health-related self-care, and encourages you to obtain advice from your own personal physician or other health care provider.
This web site is not intended to replace medical, financial, legal, or any other professional advice. Please use your own good judgment and consult with your own professionals before applying any ideas found within this website.
I may have a marketing connection to a brand, topic or product listed on this website. Through the use of affiliate links contained herein, I may collect fees from purchases made.