Fulfilling the role of Family Caregiver for your senior loved one can be satisfying. You may enjoy the time you spend with your loved one and you may be happy that you are available to take your loved one to doctor appointments and care for them at home.
However, even Family Caregivers that are pleased and thankful to be taking care of a loved one need time for themselves. You need a chance to take a break, catch your breath and remember who you are outside of being a Family Caregiver. It is easy to keep pushing your needs to the bottom of your list because your loved one has more immediate needs, but taking time for yourself is better for your loved one in the long run.
Taking a break is a good way to prevent burnout. If you are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, it may be because you are overdue for some personal care. Here are a few common thoughts that may signify you are in need of some rest:
- I am not in the mood to go out today, even to see friends. While everyone has a day now and then when they feel like pulling on sweats and crawling under the covers with a good book, it is not normal to have this feeling consistently. If you often feel like retreating from friends and family, it may be a sign that caregiving has become a drain on your emotional state.
- I used to do so much, but I can’t seem to get excited about anything. If you have dropped hobbies and can’t rally your spirits to jump back in again, it may indicate that personal care has been on the back burner for too long
- I would do anything to make this all end. If you have thoughts of suicide or of hurting your loved one, this is a red flag. You should immediately contact a mental health professional and let them know that you are having these thoughts.
- I have been off my normal eating or sleeping routine lately. Abnormal eating, whether too much or too little, can be a sign that you are struggling with stress. The same is true for sleep. If you are sleeping more or less than is normal for you, you may be experiencing an abnormally high stress level.
- I seem to have a cold coming on all the time. Your immune system may be compromised by the high stress environment that you are living in. Take time to recuperate, and then once you are well, take measures to bolster your immune system, such as getting good sleep and incorporating exercise into your daily routine.
Freudenthal Home Health has the perfect way for you to take a break. Check out our new Full Life At Home Program that provides short “Care Visits” for your senior loved one. These Care Visits can be from as short as 10 minutes in length to up to 60 minutes and you can schedule them whenever you need us to “fill in” for you and give you a break! Contact us today to find out more.