When a family member has an illness or disability, it often falls on their loved ones to care for them. In fact, 65.7 million American are caregivers. Taking on that role comes with a lot of stress and constant responsibility, however, often leading to caregiver burnout.
Once burnout sets in, it severely impacts your ability to provide care for your loved one. Your health, happiness, and the relationship you have with your family member will all suffer. Before burnout sets in, take a look at these five signs so you can better care for yourself as well.
1. Losing Patience
As patience goes out the window, your temper is likely to flare up more often. You might find yourself irritated over small things or simply frustrated that you never have time to relax. Losing patience is one of the first signs of caregiver burnout, causing you to lose the same ability you once had to provide adequate care.
2. Family Relations are Strained
Feelings of isolation are common among caregivers, which can cause their relationships with other families to become strained. You might feel resentful of those that do not provide care to your loved one, family members might avoid you because they feel guilty about the situation, or frustration could lead to fighting. Many families find themselves in legal disputes, hiring attorneys like those at the Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers.
3. Tiredness, Sickness, and Feeling Run-Down
Stress takes a major toll on the body. When it’s constant, you’ll find your immune system and body wearing down. Fatigue or constantly feeling tired is a common symptom, but you may also find yourself getting sick more often. If you’re constantly feeling run-down, it’s difficult to continue to provide the care your loved one needs.
4. There’s No Time for Your Needs
Many caregivers find that they no longer have time for their own needs. This happens when they are so focused on providing care that they no longer make time for themselves or their loved one requires constant attention. If you don’t take care of yourself, though, you won’t be able to care for anyone else.
5. Feeling Sad and Hopeless
Realizing that your ability to care is fading can lead to sadness, hopelessness, and deep depression. For others, the overwhelming nature of being a full-time caregiver can be enough to create these feelings. At this point, it’s vital that you seek therapy through both a professional and support groups. If the feeling persists, you may want to reach out to a psychiatrist for additional help.
Don’t Be Discouraged
Many caregivers feel guilty or as if they have failed their loved one when burnout sets in. However, caring for yourself is just as important as caring for them. If these signs and symptoms cannot be remedied, then it may be time to consider in home care assisted living facilities.
Remember, you cannot provide the care your loved one needs if you’re burnt out. It’s vital that you take the time you need to heal, recuperate, and de-stress. When caregiver burnout goes untreated, everyone involved in the situation suffers.