I have been working with a client who is the primary carer for her elderly mother with Dementia.
Here are some questions I asked her to find out if she was coming close to Care Giver Burnout – as I was worried about her. She suffers from tremendous guilt if she takes a day off from seeing her Mum and her migraines have increased as well as her back aching – all classic signs of overwhelming stress.
Once I had established how she was feeling, I began to explore with her ways to delegate some responsibilities, and to find support from other members of her family, as well as recognising that it was time to involve paid carers to pop in first thing in the morning and last thing at night to help lessen the burden.
If you are taking care of an elderly loved one, or you know of someone who is, make sure you start to ask for help if you answer ‘yes’ to more than two of these questions.
You have to take care of yourself first before you can help another.
Recognising Care Giver Burnout.
Have you been experiencing feelings of depression and helplessness?
Have you been experiencing feelings of anger, frustration, or hostility towards yourself and the person you are caring for?
Are you constantly exhausted ?
Are you less interested than you once were in your work or your hobbies?
Are you withdrawing from family, friends, and general social contact?
Has there been a change in your eating or sleeping habits?
Has there been a change in your appetite or weight?
Have you been turning to stimulants and/or alcohol or comfort eating more often?
Does it seem like you catch every cold, flu, bug or virus that comes around?
Do you have trouble relaxing even when you have free time?
Can you see no end in sight?
If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you may have caregiver burnout.
Here is a helpful article from Huffington Post