Ninety percent of unpaid caregivers care for a family member, and there are 40.4 million Americans providing unpaid care to an adult 65 or older. Almost 67% of these unpaid caregivers report having at least one mental health symptom while caring for someone else. Anxiety and depression top that list.
If you were a family caregiver during the pandemic, you had the added stress of dealing with having to socially distance yourself, keep your mom away from people who might have it, and stay home all day, every day. All of these could increase the chances of caregiver burnout.
What Is Caregiver Burnout?
Caregiver burnout is more than physical exhaustion. It's also mental and emotional exhaustion that builds up over time when you're caring for someone else. It's not uncommon for a family caregiver to do so much for others that they lose sight of what they need to stay healthy.
When you continually help others and stop attending your medical appointments, dental appointments, and social events. You never have time to yourself, and that will add up. Anxiety and fatigue are two risks, but caregiver burnout can lead to clinical depression.
How do you know if you're experiencing caregiver burnout? Here are the most common signs.
- Lack of interest in seeing friends or joining in on former activities
- Constant feelings of sadness
- Frustration with lack of money, time, and resources
- Weakened immune system
- Mood swings and irritability with no cause
- Weight gain or loss
- Dependency on addictive substances to cope with feelings of frustration and hopelessness
- Feelings of hopelessness or wanting to give up
As so many other things that can impact your health, it's important to see a doctor to rule out health issues. If it is determined that caregiver burnout is likely, take two steps. Ask to see a therapist who specializes in caregiver burnout and join a support group for family caregivers. Surround yourself with other caregivers who understand what you're going through.
Arrange Respite Care
If you suspect you're burned out. What can you do? Most importantly, take time off. It's time to focus on yourself. If that means walking away from your mom's care, do so. Hire a caregiver to help her each week, and while that caregiver is there, take time to do things you've wanted to do.
Take a vacation, find a job you love, or engage in hobbies you've always wanted to try. Whatever you do, make sure you're doing it for yourself and not someone else.
It's time to talk to a home care assistance expert. Ask about respite care services for you and your mom. While you take a few hours or days off, your mom isn't on her own. Her caregiver is there to help out as needed. A home care assistance specialist is happy to go over prices and help you make the proper arrangements.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Jacksonville, FL, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (904) 342-6040