As adult children of aging parents we know ‘those’ days are coming. As our parents, spouse, or other loved ones have difficulties in life, maybe mobility, illness, or dementia, we may be faced with the daunting task of seeking support for them. The question is always, can we care take care of “Mom” ourselves? We don’t like to talk about nursing homes or other facilities so we can handle it ourselves. But many who do this experience Caregiver Burnout.
You are not alone. 43.5 million adults were unpaid caregivers last year. Unpaid Caregivers and Caregiver Burnout
I don’t know about you but our lives are really busy. If you have children, of any age, they are demanding and take a lot of our time. Besides that, there’s work, social activities, and maybe even squeezing in time for your spouse.
As we continue to live longer we become tasked with caring for our elder loved ones. Maybe they move in with the family, or you may seek help to keep them in their home for as long as they can. Either way, it may become necessary to look for outside help with your responsibilities to care for your loved one.
If that need arises, be sure to consider checking us out. We provide many types of services. Home healthcare has expanded.
The Holiday Season
Shopping, wrapping, partying, gift-giving, decorating, and family are all part of our holiday season. Have you ever felt overwhelmed due to ‘too much holiday’? Well, for those that also have the added task of caregiving for a loved one, you know the true feeling of burnout. Because in addition to all the other things listed above, you are main, or possibly sole, caregiver for a loved one. It may be an elder person or could even be someone who had surgery and needs additional looking after.
Caregiver burnout is a real thing. It’s not just during the holidays that you may experience this. However, adding in the holiday stresses may make your burnout show up sooner!
Types of Caregiver Burnout
As we deal with our adult lives, we can experience burnout. You may have burnout from a job, a family situation, a health crisis, or even something you enjoy such as a hobby can produce a burnout situation.
A few of the types of burnout that caregivers experience may be emotional, conflict resolution, isolation, despair, or plain old frustration. Here’s a little about them.
As we deal with aging loved ones we are reminded daily of the decline in their robustness, or mobility, mental acuity or even their frustration. It’s difficult to see them in decline and we may try to stay in our memories of them to escape the harsh reality. If we are doing this alone without outside help this may be particularly hard for us to deal with.
Constant emotional upheaval in this regard is bound to cause burnout at some point. We all tell ourselves we can handle it, but can we? What is the price we may pay in the future? What is the price with pay with our spouse, our kids, our work, or other parts of our life?
If you have to deal with conflict daily, it may take its toll. What types of conflict might you have?
- Conflict with the patient themselves. They don’t want to do what is asked of them.
- Disagreement with medical professionals involved in the case (or lack of needed involvement).
- Arguments erupting in the family. Kids may be not getting attention they need, spouse is feeling ignored.
- Constant barrage of problems at work because you are distracted or not present for events.
- Feeling Guilty vs Selfish
These are some possible conflicts that may cause you stress that can lead to burnout.
Isolation Causes Caregiver Burnout
Now that you have become caregiver, you are happy you can help and be of service to a loved one. At some point, however, you may find that your ‘old life’ is slipping away from you. That may leave you feeling isolated.
- Even though your friends still contact you, it seems stilted. You are not sharing events with them.
- You may even feel isolated from your immediate family. They are right there with you but every day they go off and do things without you.
- You feel guilty for feeling this way because your mom was always there for you, why are you feeling so selfish? You may be conflicted about taking time for yourself.
As we all experienced the last two years with CoVid19, isolation has devastating effects on humans. We need our social experiences outside of our home life. Isolation is a huge cause of burnout but it sneaks up on us because we justify that we can handle it. It is a sneaky cause of our burnout.
Hitting on some of the many causes of burnout in this blog was out intent. Obviously, there are many more. The reason for our looking into this is that we may be feeling these pains particularly hard during the holiday season.
- Creating boundaries is important. How much can you handle?
- Asking for help! It’s not a sign of weakness but one of strength.
- Educate yourself in available options to alleviate your burden.
We want you to have the best caregiving experience so we are here to help offload some of that workload if needed. Please check us out. Check us out!