Being a caregiver is a noble endeavor. Whether you are a caregiver by profession or taking care of a family member, we know at times it is not easy, and you could suffer from burnout. According to Pew Research Center, 40 million adults in North America are taking care of someone who is chronically ill, disabled, or aging. Many times, once you are feeling signs of burnout, your brain could be suffering a psychological condition brought on by unrelieved stress. Here are a few warning signs that you might be feeling burnt out.
Warning Signs of Caregiver Burnout
- You are always tired.
- You have an issue with sleep-you either can’t sleep or have difficulty waking up.
- Weight loss or weight gain due to changes in eating habits
- A feeling of hopelessness
- Neglecting your physical or emotional needs
- Not spending time doing things you once enjoyed
- Mood swings
- Low immunity caused by stress
- Beginning to get irritable with your patient or loved one
- Physical problems like headaches or stomach aches
- Anxiety about your future
Noticing these signs might upset you, especially if you genuinely care for the person you are helping, but you need to realize that you are only human. When your needs are not being met, burnout is bound to happen. Burnout does not mean you love them any less. It just means you need a break. Here are a few ways to avoid burnout as a caregiver.
How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout
- Take care of yourself by making sure you eat a healthy diet and exercise. If possible, talk to a doctor about any sleep issues so you can get a good night’s rest each night.
- Ask for help. No one can do everything. There are just not enough hours in the day, and it does not make you a terrible caregiver to ask for help. In fact, it makes you a better caregiver when you know your limitations.
- Give yourself permission to get out of the house and enjoy yourself. Whether it’s getting a manicure or seeing a movie, invest in your happiness.
- Check with your work regarding family leave benefits. This could help add more hours to your day.
- Join a support group. Many other people are going through similar struggles and communicating with them can drastically improve your mood.
- If you are a family caregiver, check into hiring a nurse from a company like Home Instead. They have nurses on call that can come and sit with your loved one to give you time to run errands etc.
At Next Day Access, one of our top goals is to be there for caregivers. Whether helping you decide on a wheelchair ramp or installing accessibility devices like grab bars in the bathroom, we exist to make life easier for you and your loved one. We offer several different accessibility devices and mobility equipment to help you keep your loved one safe and comfortable as well as items that help put less strain on you, like patient lifts and walk-in bathtubs. We urge you to explore our website and see for yourself the many solutions we can provide for you and your loved one’s needs. Contact us today!