Each year, millions of Americans unselfishly volunteer their time and talents to care for aging friends and relatives. As the days go by, it’s common for informal caregivers to experience a condition known as caregiver fatigue.
When ignored, caregiver fatigue can morph into full-blown caregiver burnout, which places the health and wellbeing of both caregiver and care recipient at risk. Preventing caregiver fatigue starts with the ability to identify its telltale signs, including those that follow.
Caregiver Fatigue Warning Signs
Although it’s a labor of love, caring for an aging-in-place senior can be a full-time job that leaves you feeling physically and emotionally exhausted at the end of the day.
Caregiver fatigue warning signs include:
You’re not sleeping enough.
The human body requires 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day to stay sharp. Lying awake night after night because you’re anxious about your loved one’s condition doesn’t give your body a chance to recharge. Sleep deprivation can take a toll on nearly all aspects of your life, including your ability to fight off infections, mental wellbeing, and energy levels.
Prolonged periods of caregiver stress can lead to burnout, resulting in the inability to regulate your emotions. That emotional irregularity can cause you to get frustrated and lash out at loved ones in your life that don’t deserve it.
Your physical health is deteriorating.
The average informal caregiver invests so much time helping others that they neglect their own physical health. Getting sick far too often, unhealthy dietary habits, substance abuse, and lack of exercise are common traits for stressed-out caregivers. If your physical health is starting to deteriorate, it’s probably best to ask for help.
Your emotional health is also suffering.
When overworked caregivers get overwhelmed, it often affects their emotional health just as much as their physical health. Negative emotions like depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem are common, any of which are indications that it’s time to take a break.
You’re neglecting personal relationships.
Being a caregiver takes a support network of family and friends that serve as your lifeline to the outside world. Not staying connected like you should deprive you of much-needed socialization, which can lower your self-worth and create negative feelings. Even if you only use a fill-in, or “respite,” caregiver for a few hours per week, it will allow you to catch up with friends or enjoy some quality time with your significant other.
Having fun is a distant memory.
Your life shouldn’t come to a screeching halt just because you’re a caregiver. If having fun is just a distant memory for you, it’s time to make some changes. Schedule a few hours off every month so that you can pamper yourself by going to the spa, reading a book, taking a weekend getaway, or just binge-watching your favorite TV shows. After all, you’ve earned it!
What is Respite Care?
Caring for someone who’s elderly, sick, or disabled can be a 24-hour job. Every so often, you’ll need to take some time off to look after your own needs. Respite care is a commonly used term that describes a temporary break for caregivers. Those caregiving breaks can be for as long as you need for them whether it’s a few hours, days, weeks, or longer.
Possible sources of respite care include:
- Family members, friends, and neighbors
- Community volunteers that work with the aging
- Adult daycare
- A residential center that offers overnight stays
- A professional in-home respite caregiver
Flexible In-Home Respite Care for Those Experiencing Caregiver Fatigue in South Florida
When it’s time to take a well-deserved caregiving break, contact Dependable Senior Care. We are a fully licensed and insured home care provider with highly qualified caregivers who are well trained and carefully screened. Our personalized in-home solutions are available 7 days a week, ranging from a few hours per day to 24-hour and live-in care. For your peace of mind, DSC is owned and operated by healthcare professionals with over 80 years of combined experience.
Our compassionate in-home caregivers can provide daily living assistance for personal care, respite care, nursing care, companionship care, and Alzheimer’s and dementia care. With offices in Palm Beach and Broward County, Dependable Senior Care is your family trusted source for senior in-home care in South Florida. To learn more now or schedule an initial consultation, please visit us at www.dependableseniorcare.com!