Caregiver stress and caregiver burnout are two very real situations family caregivers experience. There are similarities, but there are also key differences. If you can take care of caregiver stress before it advances into caregiver burnout, it can be easier to manage.
What is Caregiver Stress?
Caregiver stress is usually the precursor to burnout. You feel anxious and irritated. You can’t concentrate and feel trapped in providing care. You might find yourself turning to food or alcohol to ease your stress.
Caregiver stress has you overreacting to little things. You have a hard time staying or falling asleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night, getting back to sleep seems impossible. You stop seeing friends or having a social life because you feel worn out and that you simply don’t have time for fun.
This is the time to seek help. You need to make sure that others are stepping in to care for your parents. During those breaks, you need to seek support in an online or local support group. You need to go out with your family and friends. You need to set time aside to do things you love.
If you’ve never had a hobby you enjoy, now is the time to start one. Bake break, learn to paint, take up knitting, or start gardening. Make sure you’re finding a creative outlet to release some of your stress.
How Does Caregiver Burnout Differ?
When you’ve reached the point that caregiver burnout has set in, you’ll find that you no longer care about your own needs. You’ve been neglecting self-care and you just can’t see the importance. You wake up tired. You never feel like you’ve had enough sleep.
Your immune system may be impacted by the severe stress. You easily catch colds or other viruses, when it used to be that you could dodge them all. You spend all of your time providing care to your parents, but it doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t make you feel like you’ve been helpful or useful.
When you do have a break, you can’t stop focusing on your stress and being able to relax. You feel helpless to improve the way you’re feeling. You need to get help and seek medical care because, in addition to being burnt out, you could be dealing with depression.
Whether you’re dealing with caregiver stress or are full-blown burnout, it’s time to take a break. You can’t do this all by yourself without risking your mental and physical health. It’s okay to need help. Call an elderly care specialist to discuss pricing and elderly care services.
If you or an aging loved one is consideringelderly care in Coon Rapids, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.