Margaret was a family caregiver for her aging mother with Alzheimer’s disease. At first, the job wasn’t too difficult. Her mother was a little forgetful, but she could still do most things for herself. However, as the disease progressed, Margaret’s mother began to exhibit difficult behaviors. When Margaret got a call at work from a neighbor saying her mother had been wandering around the neighborhood in her nightgown, Margaret knew she couldn’t leave her mother alone anymore. Margaret quit her job and began spending her days with her mom. In fact, being her mother’s caregiver consumed her life. Margaret thought of little else. She was exhausted and sometimes found herself bursting over tears over something as little as a pot boiling over on the stove. She started treating herself to a glass of wine each night after her mother went to bed. Soon one glass turned into two until she started to wonder if she had a problem.
Margaret’s story is not an uncommon one. Many caregivers suffer from caregiver burnout or stress. It’s a problem caused by the emotional and physical stress of being a caregiver. Often caregivers don’t realize they need help until the problem has gotten quite serious and their mental and physical health are compromised. Knowing the signs could mean getting yourself help before caregiver burnout gets too bad. Here are 4 signs that you may need help.
#1: You Haven’t Spent Time with Family or Friends in Weeks
People suffering from caregiver stress or burnout often withdraw from friends and family members. They may feel too exhausted to engage with them or worry that they are a “downer” because of how they’re feeling. Or, they may simply lack the time.
#2: You Worry All the Time
Anxiety is a common issue for caregivers. They worry about the health of the person they are caring for, mistakes they’ve made, or about the way being a caregiver is affecting their own life.
#3: You Feel Generally Unwell Often
Caregiver burnout can cause physical symptoms. You may have aches and pains that aren’t due to any underlying problem. Headaches are also common. Many caregivers also catch colds or other illnesses more easily than they used to.
#4: Using Alcohol, Drugs, or Medications Excessively
Many caregivers turn to substance abuse in an attempt to make themselves feel better. It might start with that nightly drink to wind down at the end of the night or taking an extra sleeping pill to get to sleep. These kinds of behaviors can escalate into addictions.
If you recognize any of these signs in yourself, home care can help you find the time to take care of yourself and relieve some of your stress. Home care can be hired to come out for just a few hours a week, for full days, or even overnight.
If you are considering a caregiver in Liverpool, NY, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Serving Seniors, Inc. We specialize in offering services to the Senior Community in Syracuse and the surrounding area (Clay, Cicero, Liverpool, Baldwinsville, Central Square, and others). Call us today! 315-382-4300
Most seniors can live independent lives for quite some time with just minor assistance. Family and friends cannot always be there to help with daily tasks, but Serving Seniors can help fill the need for transportation, errands, housekeeping, and more. Just a few hours a week can enhance your senior’s independence, happiness and overall quality of life.
Joan assists concerned families seeking a trained caregiver who will treat their loved ones with dignity, respect and compassion. Serving Seniors provides the highest level in-home non-medical care and companionship. Families and seniors can be assured of friendly, personalized service from dedicated, compassionate caregivers.