Taking on the role of primary caregiver for a loved one is a rewarding responsibility, but it can also be overwhelming at times. Because many family caregivers attempt to handle this job on their own while trying to manage other commitments, this can quickly lead to caregiver burnout.
Without asking for help or support, family caregivers could be making their role harder on themselves. You do not have to take on the responsibility of caring for your loved one alone, but how do you know when it is time to seek caregiver support?
Senior Solutions Management Group provides assisted living services in Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee. We offer care and support to allow family caregivers the chance to only be a spouse/daughter/son, etc. We want to share when to seek caregiver support and how to ask for this help.
Your Loved One’s Care Needs are Increasing
It is possible that when you first took on the role of your loved one’s caregiver, they needed very little assistance. Perhaps they only needed help with their medication every day or transportation to various appointments or outings.
However, health needs and mobility can change over time. If your loved one’s care needs are becoming more than you can safely handle, it may be time to seek caregiver support. If medical conditions are worsening or their care is becoming more physically demanding, like bathing, dressing, or lifting, you should consider reaching out for help.
Your Health is on the Backburner
You cannot provide the best possible care to your parent or family member if you are not healthy yourself. It is easy to get caught up in all the responsibilities of your role as a caregiver along with juggling your other duties, but it is not okay to neglect your own health.
Even on an airplane, you are instructed to put on your oxygen mask before assisting others. Why? Because if you cannot breathe, you cannot help those around you. You can apply this same principle to caregiving.
If you are finding that you are putting your loved one’s needs above your own and neglecting your health and wellness, it may be time to seek caregiver support or look into the assisted living services within a Senior Solutions Management Group community.
You are Experiencing Caregiver Burnout
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.”
Caregiver burnout results from a family caregiver putting their loved one’s needs above their own while attempting to do more than they are physically able to without getting the help and support they need. While it is easy and common for family caregivers to forget to take care of their own well-being, neglecting their health can have a negative impact on the caregiver and their family member.
Recognizing the Signs of Caregiver Burnout
Symptoms of caregiver burnout can include:
- Frequent headaches
- Trouble sleeping
- Weakened immune system
- Changes in diet and weight
- Feelings of anxiety and depression
- Inability to concentrate
- Feeling irritable or impatient
- Lacking motivation
- Isolation both physically and emotionally
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or simply feel overwhelmed by your caregiving duties, you should consider seeking caregiver support.
Preventing Caregiver Burnout
The number one way to prevent caregiver burnout is to ask for help. Reach out to other members of your family, like siblings, or hire an in-home caregiver for extra support.
When asking your family members for help, remember to:
- Be honest – Communicate with your family members and tell them how your role as the primary caregiver is affecting you and your health.
- Be specific – When you ask someone in your family for help, tell them exactly what you need help with. For example, ask your sister if she can pick up your mom’s prescription and drop it off at the house.
- Be realistic – Everyone has their own set of strengths, so use this to your advantage. Match the tasks that you need help with to the person in your family who is best suited to accomplish them.
You are not on this caregiving journey alone, and there are numerous resources available to you. To learn more about how our assisted living services could benefit you and your loved one, we encourage you to contact Senior Solutions Management Group or visit our website.