7 Signs Of Caregiver Burnout
40% to 70% of family caregivers experience significant emotional and mental effects of caregiving, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance. When you think of a caregiver, you likely think of caregiving professionals like nurses and private caregivers.
However, signs of caregiver burnout are not isolated only to these traditional professionals. In another report published by the AARP and the National Alliance on Caregiving, 36% of family caregivers reported that their care situation is highly stressful.
Below you will find a few signs of caregiver burnout typically caused by the emotional and physical exhaustion that is generally associated with the obligation of providing care.
Warning Signs Of Caregiver Burnout
1. Isolation & Withdrawal
If you find yourself constantly not wanting or unwilling to interact with others, especially family and friends, it can be a sign that you are becoming drained from caring for your loved one.
2. Loss Of Interest In Activities
If you lose interest in your favorite hobbies or activities, you may need a break from caring for your loved one.
3. Feeling Overwhelmed & Hopeless
If you experience any thoughts of hopelessness suicide, or you have considered hurting your loved one, then you should seek immediate help from a mental health professional. These violent thoughts of hurting yourself or your loved one are signs of extreme burnout and likely depression.
4. Changes In Mood
If you are even-tempered most of the time, but you find yourself becoming angry more quickly, or if you are usually upbeat but can no longer find your happiness, then you may need to take a break from caregiving. You should trust your emotional state to gauge your stress levels.
5. Changes In Eating Patterns
If you find yourself having abnormal eating patterns, either eating too much or not eating, then you may be experiencing extreme stress. Some caregivers find themselves experiencing emotional eating, which is eating foods to offset their negative emotions. Others may be so wound up that they lose their appetites and hardly eat. Some may also experience digestive issues with a change in their eating patterns.
6. Changes In Sleep Patterns
If you have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting out of bed in the morning, you may be experiencing signs of caregiver burnout.
7. Changes In Health
Stress can be extremely hard on your immune system, especially long term. If you experience any illnesses that last longer than they should, it is a sign that your immune system is compromised, likely from caregiver burnout. Not only may you experience longer-lasting illnesses, but you may also have chronic stress that may contribute to serious medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and intestinal disorders.
What To Do If You're Experiencing Signs Of Caregiver Burnout
The first thing you should do is voice your concerns to a professional. It can be a family doctor, social worker, or therapist. This is a great first step in getting the assistance you need. Keep in mind that the best care can be provided when the caregiver is also taking care of themselves and their mental wellbeing.
In addition, you should find continuous support to help overcome and cope with the daily stress of being a caregiver. There are in-person support groups that are a great resource, especially due to the added benefit of connecting with others dealing with the same age-related conditions. They may also be able to refer you to additional resources, counseling, and other programs that may be available to you.
Legal And Financial Planning For Nursing Home Assistance
Being a caregiver is not an easy task.
Often times as the physical and mental condition of an elderly loved one will progress beyond what a family caregiver can provide.
In these instances, families usually begin looking for a nursing home that can provide the 24 hour medical care their loved one needs and deserves.
Unfortunately, the cost of nursing home care is incredibly expensive.
In Michigan, the average cost of a nursing home is between $8,000-$9,000 per month. Many families worry about spending their entire life savings and losing the family home just to pay for nursing home costs.
Fortunately, you can protect your savings and home from nursing home costs by qualifying for nursing home benefits to pay for care.
To find out how, please read this article…
If you already know that you want nursing home benefits to pay for care, please call our office at (248) 613-0007 to schedule a free initial case evaluation to find out if we can help you qualify.