Family members that are the sole caretaker for an aging relative often do so because the elderly person can no longer attend to their own self-care for basic daily tasks.
All these duties take lots of time, patience, and energy—something that most adults simply can’t go along with their own life responsibilities. The constant stress and work need to be balanced out by free time and breaks from caregiving. Otherwise, the family member could suffer from a condition called caregiver burnout.
Here are 5 reasons why family caregivers burn out when taking care of a dependent elderly adult.
1. They underestimate the amount of work.
When a family member agrees to take care of an aging relative, they often have a false idea of what exactly is involved in providing part-time or full-time help. They may think that they can stop in before work to quickly lend a hand and check back in later that night. However, depending on the elderly person’s actual needs, something simple like taking a shower can last a lot longer than expected.
2. They don’t understand the elderly person’s health problems.
There’s a lot more to assist an elderly relative that just making sure they get to the grocery store once a week. Seniors that need help are dealing with significant physical or mental health issues. Family caregivers may not understand the details about common conditions like multiple sclerosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, diabetes and others.
3. They sacrifice areas of their own life.
As the family caregiver grows busier meeting their elderly relative’s needs, they start to ignore areas of their own lives. Usually, the first things that are sacrificed are hobbies, relaxation time and self-care moments like exercise. Other areas that are neglected include time with a spouse or children, their own housekeeping or meal prep and healthy lifestyle habits. In extreme cases, jobs and marriages suffer.
4. They won’t ask for help.
Too many family caregivers feel that they are failures if they can’t manage all the responsibilities, including helping their relative. They won’t ask other family members to pitch in and refuse to hire elderly care services for regular aides to come in and provide care. Whether they feel too proud or too embarrassed, family caregivers suffer when they shoulder the burden alone.
5. They are too worried about their elderly relative.
Many times, family caregivers become so focused on the health and wellness of their aging relative that they are convinced that the elderly person simply can’t get along without them. In some cases, the senior is the one saying they don’t want care provided by anyone else and refuse to cooperate. Then, the family caregiver complies because they don’t want to upset their loved one.
The best way for family caregivers to avoid burnout is to take regularly scheduled breaks from caregiving. They can hire elderly care services that provide professional aides that can handle all kinds of tasks, from bathing, dressing, and grooming to meal prep, housecleaning, and companionship. Having a reliable source of elderly care assistance gives caregivers the balance they need for their lives.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare in Carmel, IN, please call the caring staff at Home Services Unlimited. Serving Greater Indianapolis Area. Call for Immediate Info & Assistance: (317) 471-0760