May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s a great time for family caregivers to focus on their own mental health. Taking care of a senior parent with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or other medical challenges like disabilities after a stroke or heart attack can be tough emotionally and physically. It’s very important to watch for the signs of burnout and to take steps to protect your mental health. Many family caregivers feel a lot of responsibility to take care of a senior parent all by themselves because it’s expected that they will. But you don’t have to do it alone. In fact, you shouldn’t do it alone. Trying to care for a senior parent 24/7 with no help will put your own physical and mental health at risk.
Help is available for you. Home care from trained providers can make sure that your senior loved one is safe so that you can take some time for yourself. Home care can also include things like help with housework and laundry so that you don’t have to worry about chores on top of your other responsibilities. If you notice that you are feeling any of these common signs of burnout look into getting home care for your senior loved one and give yourself the break you deserve:
If you start to notice that you’re not really feeling much of anything that’s apathy. Apathy is similar to feeling dissociated, like you don’t really care about anything anymore. You do care but you are overwhelmed so your mind is dissociating and shutting off and that’s why you feel like you don’t care. When you start to feel nothing most of the time or feel only apathy about situations that is a very strong indication of burnout.
Everyone gets angry sometimes. But if you’re starting to feel irrational anger, or if you’re feeling overwhelming anger that is not proportionate to an event that is a sign of burnout. For example, if someone cuts you off in traffic and you have a crying, screaming, finger pointing breakdown over it that’s not rational anger. Or if your senior parent or your child drops food on the floor and you want to start screaming about it that’s not normal anger. That’s a sign of burnout and being overstressed.
Do you find yourself tearing up more than usual or crying over things that you shouldn’t be crying over, like TV commercials? Do you feel like nothing matters or your situation is hopeless most of the time? That is a major indication of burnout. It’s your mind’s way of dealing with the constant stress and trauma that you’re going through. It’s a sign that you need a break to breathe and rest.
Being tired is something that happens to everyone now and then, but if you’re so tired you can’t get out of bed for an entire day, or for multiple days at a time, that’s a sign of depression and burnout. Your mind is telling you that you’re doing too much and you need a break. That’s when you need to get home care for your senior loved one and give yourself a break to relax and regroup.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Manhattan, NY, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (212) 845-9854