What are the Main Reasons Family Caregivers Experience Burnout?

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If you’re on the verge of feeling completely spent in every way, burnout is around the corner. Among the symptoms of caregiver burnout are difficulty with motivation, focus, sleep, and inexplicable aches and pains. Still, you can revive if you know what leads to this state and take preventative steps. Here are the most common reasons for caregiver burnout.


Overexertion

By nature, your workload may be exhausting, requiring tremendous strength and energy. Caregiving can also be demanding emotionally. If your loved one is uncooperative, your composure gets a workout, too.

Moreover, every chronic disease raises specific challenges. For instance, seniors with Parkinson’s may need help with all the activities of daily living. Or if your aging loved one has Alzheimer’s, he or she might require constant supervision.

 

Exhaustion

Avoid skipping meals. Instead, prioritize eating nutritious foods regularly. Incorporate stress-relieving foods in your diet, such as red peppers, nuts, oatmeal, salmon, and caffeine-free herbal teas. Soothing teas include chamomile and ginger, while peppermint tea can boost alertness and enhance digestion.

Meanwhile, certain types of exercise can increase energy and optimism. Examples are dancing, gardening, walking at the beach, and swimming. Try to engage in a fun physical activity three times a week or more.

Also, ensure you get ample sleep. During slumber, your body activates various hormones that repair, grow, and maintain your cells.

Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Miami families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.

 

Intense Emotions

When you care for a senior with decreasing health, it can trigger a range of unpleasant feelings. For example, frustration may build if your loved one is often irrational.

Anxiety results if you constantly worry about the future and what it could entail. Uncontrollable situations can provoke feelings of helplessness. On some days, your loved one’s behaviors may be irksome, or a predominant feeling might be depression. 

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help.

 

Troubling Feelings

One way to manage such feelings is by distraction, shifting your focus to an uplifting element. For instance, keep calming music playing in the background, tuning into it when you feel exasperated.

Also, have coloring sessions with your loved one. Coloring will anchor you in the present moment, and it can be grounding for seniors. In addition, consider journaling to record your concerns and what went well each day, giving you hope and a sense of control.

Certain diseases can transform a senior’s personality. Keeping this in mind can help you build emotional stamina. For instance, if your loved one is often unreasonable because he or she has dementia, remember it’s just the disease talking. Still, if various emotions make it hard to function, see a professional counselor, who will teach you coping skills.

Unrealistic Demands & Expectations

Perhaps you’re setting the bar too high for yourself. Some caregivers expect their hands-on involvement to boost their loved ones’ health. If it doesn’t, they assume the worsening state of their loved ones’ wellbeing is their fault. 

Many caregivers think they should be more devoted or sacrificial, especially if their loved ones are their parents. Or they strive to be super-responsible, never dropping the ball. You may have siblings who question your decisions or judge how you provide care, or they might expect you to do all the work instead of sharing it.

Lack of Perspective

If your loved one has a progressive disease, such as Alzheimer’s, his or her cognitive decline isn’t related to your level of diligence. If you have siblings who can help you, ask them to come through.

If you can’t make any headway, speak with a counselor. The counselor can coach you on handling negative input and family disagreements. You might also want to join a caregiver support group to gain insights from your peers.

 

Lack of Personal Time & Privacy

As an ardent caregiver, you most likely awaken early and shift immediately into high gear. You may feel compelled to multitask and work nonstop. Along with tending to your loved one’s needs, you’re juggling those of other family members.

There’s always a long to-do list of household chores, errands, shopping, and other obligations. Burnout can result if you’re constantly on the go, undermining your health and relationships. 

If your loved one currently lives with you, his or her presence could make you self-conscious. In that case, you might stop doing certain activities you formerly enjoyed.


Inability to Maintain Balance

You can become a master of time management. Start by evaluating your agenda for each day. Consider what’s imperative and what can wait for another time. Next, transfer the nonessential tasks to a secondary list. Thirdly, reserve space in your daily schedule for some of your favorite activities. Then break down large projects into small chunks, delegating some aspects to others. While working on your tasks, aim for good enough rather than perfect. Taking shortcuts can help, such as when preparing meals.

Also, hire a trained home caregiver for your loved one. Along with providing hands-on personal care, caregivers can run errands, do laundry, and clean the home. A professional caregiver will offer you a reprieve from your duties and give you some vital alone time.

One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care service. Miami families can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. We will work with you to create a customized home care Miami plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Assisting Hands Home Care team at (305) 574-9137 today.

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