Category Archives: Caregiver Stress

Caregivers Must Take Care of Their Own Health And Well-Being

When you’re a caregiver, it is not a selfish act to “take a day off;” in fact it is crucial to your being able to carry on and provide care to the aging relatives in your life and under your care. If you’re either the self-appointed or family-designated caregiver for senior relatives you are not alone as there are more than 22.5 million caregivers in the United States today and the number continues to rise.

Taking on the role of providing the primary support for either a disabled or an aging relative can provide emotional rewards but it can also bring sometimes seemingly insurmountable challenges. You’re not alone in feeling that the stressors of being a primary caregiver begin almost immediately; this is especially true if you’re in the Sandwich Generation – those caring not only for aging parents, but also for your own family. The role of caregiver can range from moving an aging parent into your family home to dealing with nursing home issues to simply making certain that your parents, who have decided to age-in-place are taking care of themselves.

How can you avoid burnout and care for yourself as you continue to care for others? Here are our tips:

 

  • You need to understand and acknowledge that you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed and even angry. It is not a character flaw to feel all of these things and then to feel guilty about that. You need to reach out, whether to a family member or a support group, and share your feelings and understand that they are a normal part of being a caregiver.
  • Take note of the signs of stress you are feeling. The signs can include resentment at your parents, loss of sleep, the need to sleep more than usual, becoming irritable at events that would typically not impact you, finding that you’re more susceptible to colds or other ailments. If you find yourself in these situations, you need to reach out, ask for help and take a day off to care for yourself.
  • In fact, you should arrange for a day or two off a week simply to enjoy yourself. If you have no relatives or friends that live in the area who can relieve you of your duties, consider equipping the home with a home medical alert device and have your relatives wear a medical alert pendant – these devices provide peace of mind for all involved.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help and to tell your parents that you need to either have another relative come in to assist you or you may need to look for the financial resources to hire a part time caregiver so that you can have time for yourself and for your family. If there are specific tasks that you simply can’t get to or don’t want to do, consider hiring someone to do those items.
  • Never fail to acknowledge the job that you’ve taken on. It takes a special, loving kind of person to step in and care for an aging relative. The role of caregiver may have originally motivated you and even when you’re feeling frustrated or at your wit’s end, you have taken on a role that allows you to care for a loved one and enjoy special time together. It is not one to be taken lightly and should be looked on with pride of accomplishment.

The time that you spend caring for yourself will allow you to more fully embrace the role of caregiver that you have taken on and will benefit everyone involved.

Dealing With Relatives Suffering Dementia Doubles Caregiver Stress And Chance Of Depression

In the world of caregiving, stress, anger and sometimes even depression go along with the duties of taking care of aging relatives. Caregivers need to take heed of any drastic or ongoing changes in mood or health. If you’re feeling angry, lonely or sad for long periods of time, it could be a case of depression, not uncommon in caregiving situations.

It’s not that the act of caring for an elderly relative causes depression. It’s not that everyone who takes on the role of caregiver will suffer this, but it is something to be aware of. The effort that it takes to care for an elderly loved one, especially if you’re in the midst of raising your own family and working full time can be daunting and lead to overwhelm and frustration. Trying to “do it all” can result in the feelings of isolation, exhaustion, anger and anxiety and these also lead to the caregiver feeling guilty for even having these emotions. In some cases, adults take on the role of caring for their aging parents as a way to “give back” but end up feeling resentful of taking care of the very individual who raised him or her. Be aware that if you are suffering depression, taking a day or two off will help lessen the feelings but you can’t simply “snap out of” it. The symptoms need to be addressed and in many instances you will need to ask for help, either from a mental health professional or from a friend or family member if you can enlist them to help share the burden of the caregiving tasks.

While you may not be able to completely stave off depression, paying careful attention to the symptoms are a good start. How can you do this? Though paying attention to diet, getting exercise, caring for yourself, taking time off and enlisting the help and support of friends and family. Your family may not be aware that you are suffering the strains of caregiving and unless you speak up, they will remain in the dark.

“Feeling down” may be a precursor to depression, but if you’re not sure, here are some symptoms to be aware of:

  • Feeling constantly tired
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Change in eating habits that lead to weight gain or weight loss
  • Being quick to anger or frustration at minor irritations
  • The feeling that nothing you do for your parents is “good enough”
  • Ongoing physical symptoms that will not respond to treatment. Suffering chronic pain or digestive orders
  • At the extreme end of the spectrum are thoughts of suicide

Some of the reason caregivers suffer stress and depression is the fact that they may not feel appreciated for all they are doing to help their elderly relatives. Add to this the difficulties that come from dealing with an adult parent that is suffering dementia and it’s been found that this situation means the caregiver is twice as likely to suffer depression than a caregiver taking care of a relative without dementia. The reason for this is that caring for a relative with dementia can be an all-consuming 24 hour a day task.

The reason for the increased risk of depression in those caring for parents with dementia is that this type of caregiving can be almost all consuming. Individuals suffering dementia may exhibit symptoms such as agitation, unwarranted anger, wandering off, hoarding and inappropriate actions and this makes it more difficult for the caregiver than “typical” caregiving issues. These caregivers likely provide more hours per week of care, likely need to take more time off from work and deal with higher levels of mental stress and physical health issues. When you add to the mix that when dealing with a parent with dementia you feel you’re “not appreciated” it can contribute to the depressive feelings caregivers undergo.

Addressing symptoms of depression

What do you do if you think you’re suffering depression? You need to track your symptoms and contact a physician. It may not be easy to admit you have depression so when you visit your doctor describe your symptoms and the outside stressors you’re experiencing with caregiving; chances are your doctor will be able to read between the lines.

What will your doctor do for you?

The first step in addressing depression is to visit your doctor who may refer you to a mental health professional. Your doctor may prescribe medications to treat the condition and may also prescribe other lab tests.

What can you do for yourself?

  • The number one item is to ask for help. Ask for help from family members. Ask for help from your doctor.
  • Take time away from caregiving. If you don’t have a friend or relative that lives close by, look into hiring a home healthcare worker to relieve you.
  • Equip the home and your parents with a medical alert device. These devices can be lifesavers when you’re not in attendance and offer peace of mind beyond compare
  • Break large tasks into smaller ones – for example if you need to clean the house, do the yard work, cook the meals, etc. Ask for help or do a little at a time
  • Make time for physical exercise, this not only clears your head and gives you perspective but being physically active benefits everyone
  • Talk to a trusted friend about what you’re going through. You may feel guilty at your frustrated feelings toward the role of caregiver, but remember it is natural
  • Spend time with friends
  • Get your parents involved in adult day care activities as a way to allow them to socialize and to allow you time off knowing they are in good hands

Caregiving is a stressful undertaking and anyone who might tell you differently has likely never been in the situation before. You need to be kind to yourself so that you can give your best to your relatives.

Helping Caregivers Deal With Stress

Along with the sense of satisfaction that comes with caring for an ill or disabled parent comes the stress. The reason for this double-edged sword is that it is challenging to not only care for the individual who cared for you for your formative years, but at the same time you may be juggling the responsibilities of your own home, raising your own children and the demands of a career.

When you’re caring for an aging parent you may have to negotiate time off from work to deal with their illness or take them to doctor’s visits and there will likely be the inevitable tension-filled family dynamics that could arise from one family member feeling he is shouldering most of the load to conflicting ideas on care and caregiving. All of these tensions can contribute to increased stress which can then lead to poor physical and emotional health.

If you find yourself in the role of caregiver for an aging parent, there are steps you can take to alleviate some of the stress, including:

  • Going online and looking for advice. Asking your family doctor for ways to cope.
  • Ask friends and family members for help. In many cases, one sibling jumps in and takes control without asking for advice or help and then resentments grow as he or she feels she is shouldering too much of the burden. You need to ask for help because if you don’t your siblings may not realize you need it. Additionally, when the health of your parent becomes too much to manage without specialized medical training, you will need to look for a trained in home medical professional to provide care
  • Look for a support group for caregivers. This could be a valuable resource and a great way to interact with individuals coping with the same stresses you are.
  • Make certain you take time for yourself. You need to be able to step away from the role of caregiver and simply relax or spend time with your family. Make arrangements with a sibling or friend or even a hired caregiver so that you can take a day or two off a week from the responsibilities.
  • Install a medical alert system and have your parents make certain they always wear their medical alert pendant. This equipment provides peace of mind for all parties in the fact that if you step away for several hours – or for overnights – you know that if your parent suffers a trip or fall or medical emergency all he needs to do is press a button and help will be available.
  • Fit in time for daily exercise. A walk around the block. A few laps in a pool. Any kind of exercise that gets your heart pumping can help alleviate stress.
  • Eat healthy meals. It may be tempting to drive through and pick up fast food for meals, especially when you’re pressed for time, but eating a well-balanced diet can help you keep your energy levels up.
  • Try to practice patience. This is usually much easier said than done. Remember there will be good days and bad days for your parents – and in turn, for you – you need to remember they aren’t doing or saying anything in malice, they are likely coping with mental health issues and that can manifest itself in being difficult and trying. When they are no longer with you, it may be a comfort to know you’ve spent quality time with them even though it may not have always been easy or gratifying.

Whether becoming a caregiver was a decision that arose from thoughtful deliberation or one that came about as the result of a sudden illness, it is something that should be thought about and talked about with both your parents and other siblings to make certain the arrangement suits everyone involved.

Helping Caregivers Deal With Stress

Along with the sense of satisfaction that comes with caring for an ill or disabled parent comes the stress. The reason for this double-edged sword is that it is challenging to not only care for the individual who cared for you for your formative years, but at the same time you may be juggling the responsibilities of your own home, raising your own children and the demands of a career.

When you’re caring for an aging parent you may have to negotiate time off from work to deal with their illness or take them to doctor’s visits and there will likely be the inevitable tension-filled family dynamics that could arise from one family member feeling he is shouldering most of the load to conflicting ideas on care and caregiving. All of these tensions can contribute to increased stress which can then lead to poor physical and emotional health.

If you find yourself in the role of caregiver for an aging parent, there are steps you can take to alleviate some of the stress, including:

  • Going online and looking for advice. Asking your family doctor for ways to cope.
  • Ask friends and family members for help. In many cases, one sibling jumps in and takes control without asking for advice or help and then resentments grow as he or she feels she is shouldering too much of the burden. You need to ask for help because if you don’t your siblings may not realize you need it. Additionally, when the health of your parent becomes too much to manage without specialized medical training, you will need to look for a trained in home medical professional to provide care
  • Look for a support group for caregivers. This could be a valuable resource and a great way to interact with individuals coping with the same stresses you are.
  • Make certain you take time for yourself. You need to be able to step away from the role of caregiver and simply relax or spend time with your family. Make arrangements with a sibling or friend or even a hired caregiver so that you can take a day or two off a week from the responsibilities.
  • Install a medical alert system and have your parents make certain they always wear their medical alert pendant. This equipment provides peace of mind for all parties in the fact that if you step away for several hours – or for overnights – you know that if your parent suffers a trip or fall or medical emergency all he needs to do is press a button and help will be available.
  • Fit in time for daily exercise. A walk around the block. A few laps in a pool. Any kind of exercise that gets your heart pumping can help alleviate stress.
  • Eat healthy meals. It may be tempting to drive through and pick up fast food for meals, especially when you’re pressed for time, but eating a well-balanced diet can help you keep your energy levels up.
  • Try to practice patience. This is usually much easier said than done. Remember there will be good days and bad days for your parents – and in turn, for you – you need to remember they aren’t doing or saying anything in malice, they are likely coping with mental health issues and that can manifest itself in being difficult and trying. When they are no longer with you, it may be a comfort to know you’ve spent quality time with them even though it may not have always been easy or gratifying.

Whether becoming a caregiver was a decision that arose from thoughtful deliberation or one that came about as the result of a sudden illness, it is something that should be thought about and talked about with both your parents and other siblings to make certain the arrangement suits everyone involved.

Tips To Avoid Caregiver Burnout

 

Research has shown that baby boomers, in unprecedented numbers are facing extreme levels of stress because they’re juggling duties of taking care of their own families, work and home and are being called upon to take on the role of caregiver for their aging parents. A study conducted by the Hartford Financial Services Group showed that 80% of baby boomers were reporting moderate to high levels of stress because of their caregiving responsibilities. It’s also been reported that many of these same individuals are being faced with the choice of leaving their jobs and careers to care for an aging parent; this leads to the baby boomer sacrificing his or her own financial stability, health and lifestyle to take on this role.

 

As a way to help reduce some of that stress, many of these adult children are turning to home medical alert systems as a way to help relieve concerns over the health and well-being of their parents during the times they can’t be there. These medical alert devices are worn by the aging parent and in the event of a slip or fall or other medical emergency, at the push of a button the device activates a two way communication device alerting the LifeFone Emergency Response Center.  Based on the personal profile set up by the user, the emergency response team will contact medical personnel and family members to provide assistance. These devices are especially welcomed by those adult seniors that are determined to remain in their own homes. The medical alert device provides peace of mind for both the aging parent and their family and caregivers.

 

When you consider that being a caregiver can feel like having a second job, you need to take some steps to relieve your stress while still making certain your aging parent is cared for. Here are some steps to take to relieve your stress:

 

  • Ask siblings and your children for help. Get as many family members involved as you possibly can.
  • Search out caregiving services in your area. Contact senior service organizations and your church to see what services are available.
  • Look into senior living facility options and gauge your parents’ receptiveness to moving into one of these facilities.
  • Invest in a medical alert system. Peace of mind can be had through the use of one of these devices.

 

Taking a day off from caregiving is also a great way to avoid burnout and stress. Plan in advance and then enjoy the day, both you and your parents will benefit from your taking a breather as you will likely come back refreshed and in a better mood!

 

 

Tips To Avoid Caregiver Burnout

 

Research has shown that baby boomers, in unprecedented numbers are facing extreme levels of stress because they’re juggling duties of taking care of their own families, work and home and are being called upon to take on the role of caregiver for their aging parents. A study conducted by the Hartford Financial Services Group showed that 80% of baby boomers were reporting moderate to high levels of stress because of their caregiving responsibilities. It’s also been reported that many of these same individuals are being faced with the choice of leaving their jobs and careers to care for an aging parent; this leads to the baby boomer sacrificing his or her own financial stability, health and lifestyle to take on this role.

 

As a way to help reduce some of that stress, many of these adult children are turning to home medical alert systems as a way to help relieve concerns over the health and well-being of their parents during the times they can’t be there. These medical alert devices are worn by the aging parent and in the event of a slip or fall or other medical emergency, at the push of a button the device activates a two way communication device alerting the LifeFone Emergency Response Center.  Based on the personal profile set up by the user, the emergency response team will contact medical personnel and family members to provide assistance. These devices are especially welcomed by those adult seniors that are determined to remain in their own homes. The medical alert device provides peace of mind for both the aging parent and their family and caregivers.

 

When you consider that being a caregiver can feel like having a second job, you need to take some steps to relieve your stress while still making certain your aging parent is cared for. Here are some steps to take to relieve your stress:

 

  • Ask siblings and your children for help. Get as many family members involved as you possibly can.
  • Search out caregiving services in your area. Contact senior service organizations and your church to see what services are available.
  • Look into senior living facility options and gauge your parents’ receptiveness to moving into one of these facilities.
  • Invest in a medical alert system. Peace of mind can be had through the use of one of these devices.

 

Taking a day off from caregiving is also a great way to avoid burnout and stress. Plan in advance and then enjoy the day, both you and your parents will benefit from your taking a breather as you will likely come back refreshed and in a better mood!

 

 

Seven Steps For Caregiver Self-Care

Until you’re in the role of caregiver it’s hard to imagine the stress associated with caring for another. In the beginning of your role as caregiver the needs you’re addressing for your elderly loved ones may be simple, a short visit or a trip to the grocery store. As time goes on though, their needs will increase to the point where it will almost seem like you’re taking on a new full time job. For those in the “sandwich generation” so called for those who are raising their own families, concentrating on their careers and taking on the role of caregiver for their adult parents, it can be a daunting task.

LifeFone, provider of home medical alert systems offers these tips for caregivers:

  1. Thoroughly understand what your responsibilities are when caring for your elderly relative. If you have other family members around you should divvy up the responsibilities.
  2. Knowing as much as possible about the senior you’re caring is crucial to understanding their particular ailments, likes, dislikes and routines.
  3. Remain in-the-know about the ongoing health conditions of the individuals you’re caring for. You need to be apprised of any changes in health status or medication needs. If there are changes in activities or foods that need to be added or avoided.
  4. Let the senior you’re caring for do as much for him or her as possible. Keeping active and staying involved in everyday routines and tasks will help them to stay healthy, alert and involved. Additionally, anger can set in with the senior when they see their independence slipping away.
  5. If you’re having a bad day, don’t take it out on the senior. If possible swap days with another caregiver. It may be difficult at times but you need to show the senior warmth and concern because they are dealing with aging and in many cases it is a frightening time for them as they watch their independence slipping away.
  6. Take time to simply sit and visit. Many senior citizens look forward to company simply because they want someone to listen. Even if there are times your elderly loved one seems to slip into the past, it’s important that you are patient and give them time to spend time with you.
  7. Ask for additional help if you need it. If you’re in a situation where you’re the only family member available to help out your aging parent, you need to be willing to ask for help. Whether you need to call in additional caregivers or a home healthcare aide, there will come a time when you need to rely on the expertise of others, especially as your parents continue to age and their needs become more than you can handle on your own.

The ability to age in place is a gift that you can give to your elderly relatives and this is made even more possible through the use of a home medical alert system.

Addressing Caregiver Guilt & Depression

Caring for an aging relative is a major stressor in the lives of many individuals and it’s only natural to feel guilt at times. Caring for an elderly relative while attempting to keep up with their own responsibilities can be difficult. Caregivers need to address any guilt and resentments they may have before they become an issue threatening relationships as well as both their physical and emotional health.

Adult children who find themselves in the role of caregiver also find they are plagued with guilt – or a perceived failure – in not being able to provide all that their aging relatives need. The guilt can also come from the caregiver feeling he or she isn’t spending enough time at home or isn’t concentrating enough at work. The guilt is exacerbated when the caregiver finds they need to take time off from work to deal with health or medical issues their aging relatives are facing. Guilt is almost unavoidable and is also detrimental to your health and the way you interact with your aging loved ones.

The guilt caregivers feel can arise from feelings of anger, sadness, frustration or resentment toward the relatives they’re caring for. The caregiver who is typically thrust into this role finds they have unrealistic goals and expectations when it comes to how they feel the relationship and role of caregiver should be versus what it truly is. In some cases, caregivers also find themselves back in the middle of sibling rivalries which can bring up unresolved family issues. Still other caregivers find the guilt arises because they worry that if they’d paid attention to their aging parents sooner they wouldn’t be in the situation they are now.

No matter the reason for the guilt, it is a very real, and damaging, emotion that strikes nearly every caregiver. When wracked with guilt, the caregiver may find themselves frozen in place, unable to make crucial decisions and second guessing their every thought when it comes to their aging relative.

Here are five steps to deal with and overcome the guilt and stress that comes from being a caregiver:

  1. To address the feelings, the caregiver needs to first acknowledge that they are actually feeling guilt. This is not easy for many people to even voice, but once you acknowledge it, you can begin to look at your feelings and your role as caregiver in a different light. In some cases the caregiver feels guilt at not doing enough or they get angry at their siblings for not helping enough and then feel guilty over that emotion. It’s a potentially vicious circle with no resolve unless you deal with it head on.
  2. Even when you’re a caregiver you need to understand that you have to take care of yourself and understand your own needs and wants. You are as important as the individual for whom you are caring and that needs to be front of mind, a viewpoint that leads to caregiver guilt.
  3. Acknowledge that you’re going to have good days in your role as caregiver and that you’re going to have days when you feel nothing but despair. You may also feel that no matter what you do for your relatives, it simply isn’t enough. Understand that just as you’re struggling, your relatives are also dealing with a lot of emotional issues at the loss of control they likely feel in their lives.
  4. Don’t feel bad about asking for help. Do you have siblings that live close that aren’t helping out? Call them and ask them to get involved. Don’t feel bad if you feel you need to hire a caregiver to come to the home on occasion so you can take the occasional day off and recharge your emotional and physical batteries.
  5. Realize that guilt is an emotion that nearly all caregivers are faced with and the best, and only way, to handle it is to not keep it bottled up inside. If the stress and guilt become too much, don’t be afraid to talk with your doctor and ask for help in coping with the rigors of being a caregiver.

In many cases, you – as the caregiver – are aging yourself and may not have the energy you had in your younger years to take care of both the care giving duties and your home and work obligations. One step toward helping you get away, enjoy a good night’s rest and get some “me” time is to equip your relative’s home with a home medical alert system. This system allows you peace of mind that while you’re away, your loved one is not completely alone and without aid. At the push of a button on the medical alert pendant, he or she will have access to a team of responders who can dispatch medical help or simply call you, friends and neighbors. A few hours for yourself, knowing that your loved one has easy access to medical help, can provide peace of mind and the break you need!

Preventative Health Screenings in your 40s

Being a caregiver, it comes with the territory that you are more focused on putting someone else’s health before your own. Neglecting your own health, however, is never a good idea. Even if you feel entirely healthy, you should not forgo participating in regular check-ups for potential problems.

Don’t rob yourself of your health, allow your doctor to check for common risk factors for people in their 40s. Most people who have high blood pressure aren’t even aware that they have it. The only way to find out is to check your blood pressure regularly. Ask your doctor to screen for:

 

  • Blood pressure: You should have your blood pressure checked every two years unless its 120-139/80-89, then you should have it checked every year. It is common for your blood pressure to rise, but it can be lowered through diet, exercise and medication. Lowering your blood pressure is the key to longevity.
  • Blood sugar: If you haven’t always had the best eating habits, you may have overworked your pancreas. This can lead to diabetes. At the age of 45 you should begin getting a fasting blood sugar test every three years.
  • Eye Exam: Until you reach the age of 60 doctors recommend getting your eyes checked every two years for common problems like presbyopia, glaucoma and macular degneration.
  •  Cholesterol: One is five Americans has high cholesterol, which has been linked to heart attack and stroke – these diseases claim a life every 33 seconds.
  • Immunizations: Doctors recommend getting a flu vaccine every year and a tetanus-diphtheria every ten years.
  • Dental Exam: Visit your dentist every year for a checkup and cleaning.
  • Preventative Health: Until you reach the age of 50 you should check your height and weight, and screen for alcohol and tobacco use and depression every every two years. After 50 you should have these looked at every year.

Give yourself the gift that keeps on giving by putting your health first. Being a caregiver adds additional stress to your body, making yearly exams that much more important.

* As with all medical suggestions and advice, you should be sure to consult your personal physician for recommendations as they pertain to your care and not rely on material provided herein.

How To Spot And Address Caregiver Burnout

Individuals who care for aging parents or relatives understand that the task brings with it continual stress and you can feel worn out, disillusioned and helpless. Caregivers suffer burnout and when that happens, everyday issues can seem insurmountable; it’s difficult to gather the energy to get through the day and everything appears bleak.

Burnout can cause unhappiness and detachment and this can threaten your home and family life as well as the care provided to  your aging relatives. Burnout can be addressed and the symptoms healed, but before that can happen, the caregiver – or someone close to him – has to recognize burnout for what it is. If you notice yourself becoming burned out, and catch it in the early stages, it’s rather simple to address it with stress management techniques. If burnout goes unnoticed for a long period, and in many cases it does, the caregiver’s recovery can take longer and it might take more time and effort to heal.

Even when the caregiver leaves the aging parent’s home at night the idea that they are home alone is there on a subconscious level. One way to help alleviate this stress of leaving them alone is by equipping your elderly parent’s home with a home medical monitoring device. These home medical device systems allow the caregiver to leave the aging parent’s home and rest easy that they will be notified in the event something happens, and the accompanying peace of mind is beyond compare.

As a caregiver you may wonder exactly what burn out is. It’s described as a state of complete “emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress;” this is the situation faced by many caregivers. The role of caregiver for an aging parent is rewarding in many instances but when you add in taking care of your own family, work and general day-to-day activities, adding caregiving into the mix can lead to burnout. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant demands of your own home life as well as your parents’ daily needs. If the stress continues, the caregiver will lose interest and motivation and will forget what got them into the role of caregiver in the first place – the desire to offer loving care to a relative in need.

In your role as a caregiver there will be times when you will feel bored and un- or under-appreciated. There will even be days when you feel resentful of having to carry the load of being a caregiver. Those feelings are natural, it’s when they carry into burnout level in which your productivity suffers. You’re feeling listless, helpless and hopeless, that you need to seek help and also ask for assistance with the care-giving role.

Here are some things you, or your family, should be on the lookout for if you are in the role of caregiver:

  • You feel like caring at all about your home life, work life, and caring for your aging relatives is a complete waste of energy
  • You feel as though every day is a bad day
  • You’re completely exhausted all of the time
  • You feel overwhelmed by even the smallest of tasks
  • The feeling of being unappreciated weighs heavy on your mind

Be advised that burnout can affect every area of your life. It can also negatively impact your immune system and make you susceptible to illnesses such as the cold or flu.

It’s important that caregivers take care of themselves because if they don’t, not only will their lives suffer, but the lives of those for whom they are caring for can be negatively impacted. The stress of caregiving doesn’t go away once you tell your aging relatives good night; the responsibility carries over when you go home at night. One way to address that issue is to have your family’s home equipped with a home medical alert system. With this system, your aging parent wears medical alert pendant; if they suffer a fall or some other medical emergency, all they need to do is push a button and help and medical emergency personnel will be dispatched.