From burnout to insomnia: 4 common problems caregivers experience
Caring for a loved one, be it a senior family member or a person with a mental disorder, is a noble undertaking. It is quite common for close family members to assume the position of a caregiver when a parent or sibling is in need. However, as much as it is fulfilling to be there for your loved one, as a caregiver, there are many problems you could face on a personal level. For instance, you may be inexperienced, and the sudden transition can put immense pressure on you. As such, the line between your personal life and your responsibilities can get blurry to the point that you can’t tell the two apart.
This can cause frustrations or anxieties to surface, which can be detrimental to both your mental and physical wellbeing. Having these feelings is perfectly normal but you should be aware of what unchecked stress can lead to.
To that end, here’s a quick overview of 4 common problems experienced by caregivers of senior citizens.
Being a caregiver is usually considered a 24X7 job, but many take this too literally. It is quite common for caregivers to suffer from insomnia due to erratic sleep schedules and tending to the needs of their loved one. Moreover, the stress from being a caregiver can also affect the quality of sleep you get.
However, remember that proper sleep is vital to staying healthy and you should try to address insomnia before it actually sets in as a long-term problem. Securing sleep, in fact, is a very good reason to set a daily routine for senior citizens at home.
Weight gain or loss
Caregiving can be quite stressful and in the midst of ensuring everything goes smoothly for your loved one, you may neglect your own needs. As a result, you may not eat on time or not eat enough, which can cause you to lose weight and become sickly. Alternatively, the stress can cause you to overeat and gain an unhealthy amount of weight, which is equally problematic.
Since caregiving usually feels like a 24-hour job, as a result, you may find yourself staying at home a lot more or avoiding social gatherings in order to be more available for your loved one. However, this can lead to isolation, a side-effect of which can be depression. Ensure that you take time out to pursue your hobbies and meet up with friends or family to prevent this.
Caregiver burnout is one of the most common problems and it generally arises due to the myriad stressors that come with the responsibility of being the one in charge. This worsens if the loved one you’re caring for has a progressively degenerative disorder and you have to watch as their mental or physical state diminishes. In fact, it is important to know how dementia can impact a caregiver spouse.
Caregiver burnout can have lasting effects on your health as well as the relationships you have or look to build going forward.
Some of the common symptoms of caregiver burnout include:
- Lack of energy
- Weakened immune system
- Fatigue or lethargy
Being aware of these common problems and addressing them as soon you notice the early signs is a good first step. Remember, get help from family and friends as needed to preserve your wellbeing. The quality of care you offer your loved one is only as good as your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
If you feel like you’ve hit a roadblock and need professional help, consider joining Kshetra’s Caregiver’s Forum. This provision helps family members who have transitioned to being primary caregivers cope with the stresses that comes with it. Here, you can attend informational sessions conducted by professionals such as therapists and medical practitioners.
Besides this, you can also avail the elder care services in Hyderabad at the Kshetra Assisted Living Facility. With over 22 years of experience in old age citizen care, your loved ones are guaranteed top-quality care without compromising on comfort or privacy. Our trained non-medical staff can assist residents with all day-to-day activities include bathing, grooming, toileting and consuming meals. To sign up for either short or long-term elder care, contact us today!