Take a look at a few facts about unpaid caregivers. First, 96 percent of them help with activities of daily living (ADLs). These tasks include help with personal hygiene, dressing, ambulation, transportation, meals, prescription reminders, and shopping. Second, almost half are also responsible for nursing tasks that they’re not prepared or trained to handle.
The average unpaid caregiver helping a parent, friend, or other family member helping about 20 days a month. About one day a month is spent researching medical symptoms and medicine interactions. A total of six days are spent helping with feeding, ambulation, dressing, toileting, and hygiene. The remaining 13 days cover housekeeping, laundry, medications, shopping, meal preparation, and transportation.
For family caregivers who also have children, jobs, and a social life, it’s tough to balance it all. That’s why many people experience caregiver burnout. The American Medical Association defines caregiver burnout as “a state of physical, emotional, and/or mental exhaustion.” It happens when caregivers do not have enough help or when they lack support.
Signs of Caregiver Burnout
People experience burnout in different ways. These are the common signs of caregiver burnout.
• Dwindling ability to cope with daily situations
• Extreme fatigue
• Feeling hopeless and that the situation is out of control
• Lowered immunities
• Mood swings (irritability, sadness, anger, impatience)
• Physical pain ( especially headaches and stomachaches)
• Poor diet (weight loss or gain, no interest in cooking, reliance on takeout or fast food)
• Sleep issues
• Withdrawal from social activities and hobbies/interests
You may experience all of these or just a few. Some people have good and bad days. If that happens to you, it doesn’t mean you’re better. You’ll experience some ebbs and tides from day to day. You need to do two things, talk to your doctor first to make sure you’re not clinically depressed. Get help if you are. It’s also time to focus on self-care.
The Next Step to Take
During September’s National Self-Care Awareness Month, you need to focus on self-care. One of the ways to do this is by making sure you have time to tend to your own interests and needs. Senior care services can help by giving you a break. Let caregivers take over for a day or two and enjoy having free time to go out with friends, work on your favorite hobby, or have a day to yourself.
Call a senior care specialist today. The person you speak with can answer your questions, help you decided which services will help, and explain pricing.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Media, PA please contact the caring staff at True Direct Home Health Care today.