Caregiver burnout occurs when caregivers find themselves feeling exhausted—physically, emotionally, and mentally. It’s caused by the demands of the role that can lead to caregivers failing to take care of themselves. They may ignore signs of illness, eat poorly, and fail to get enough sleep. They may even feel guilty if they do something for themselves instead of spending all their time and energy on their aging relative.
Many caregivers don’t even realize they are suffering from caregiver burnout because it comes on gradually so that it seems like their normal state of being. If you aren’t sure whether you have caregiver burnout, below are 4 signs that suggest you do.
#1: You Haven’t Spent Time with Anyone but the Care Recipient Lately
When is the last time you went out for coffee with a friend or spent time with other family members? If it’s been a while, it could be because you’re withdrawing from the people you enjoy spending time with. Caregiver burnout can cause this by draining you of energy so that when you do have a moment of spare time, you simply don’t feel like doing anything. You may also worry that your negative mood will bring others down.
#2: You Feel Tired All the Time
Many caregivers suffering from burnout complain of a persistent feeling of tiredness. They’re tired when they get up in the morning. Even after taking a nap or a break, they still feel tired. This can be caused by literal physical exhaustion because you aren’t getting enough sleep. It can also be caused by depression, which may occur because of burnout.
#3: You’re Not the Cheerful Person You Used to Be
People with caregiver burnout are often more irritable than is normal for them. You may find yourself snapping at the older adult you’re caring for. You may also lash out at your spouse or children for minor infractions when you normally wouldn’t. Irritability is a common sign that suggests you have caregiver burnout.
#4: You’re Drinking More Than You Used To
Has that one glass of wine to wind down at the end of the day turned into two, three, or more? People with caregiver burnout sometimes turn to alcohol or drugs to feel better. They may use sleeping pills improperly or could even turn to recreational drug use. Even if you’re not using drugs or alcohol, you may be turning to other things for comfort, such as eating unhealthy foods because they give you comfort.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Burbank, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Help. Serving All of Los Angeles County. Call Us Today (888) 989-7388