Caregiver Fatigue: What You Need To Know
For most people, caring for their elderly love one is fulfilling. Caring for a parent who tirelessly cared for you over the years is rewarding. However, in some instances, taking on this task can also be overwhelming. This is particularly true if your loved one suffers from a serious medical condition and requires a lot of care. Once this task becomes overwhelming, some people begin to form caregiver fatigue. This is a condition that can have an effect on your physical, emotional and mental state.
What Is Caregiver Fatigue?
Most people who assume the role of primary caregiver experience a lot of changes in their lives. Increased financial pressure, changes in living arrangements and disruption of regular activities are just some of the changes that come along with this responsibility. Overtime, an almost never ending list of demands can lead to exhaustion. This is when caregiver fatigue often sets in.
What Does It Look Like?
In most people, caregiver fatigue looks very similar to a person who is dealing with depression or stress. Increased irritability, withdrawal from family and friends and exhaustion (physical and emotional) are just some of the ways caregiver fatigue shows up.
It's important to understand that most of the symptoms associated with caregiver fatigue aren't immediate. Typically, people develop small signs over a length of time. Paying attention to your own behavioral habits and anyone else who is caring for a loved one is important.
What You Can Do?
If you believe you or a loved is dealing with caregiver fatigue, it's important that you first seek help. Understand that assuming the role of primary caregiver on your own is too large of a task. In addition to caring for the health of your loved one, you also have a responsibility to ensure you're healthy as well. Hiring a professional like a home health aid to come in and take some of the responsibility is a good idea.
These professionals are trained to provide your loved one with the care they need, while also giving you the time you need. Before hiring a home aid, make certain that you are talking with your loved one about the new person that is coming into the home. However, it's generally best to not mention caregiver fatigue to your loved one. This can cause your loved one to feel guilty, which is not your intention.
In order to keep your loved one in good health, you first need to be in good health. Make certain that you are keeping your health a priority and getting the help you need.