Did you know that about 1 in 3 adults in the United States are informal caregivers? This refers to individuals who have not undergone the necessary training and education to be caregivers but carry out caregiving duties for a loved one or family member. As a family caregiver, you may be experiencing signs of caregiver stress, especially if your loved one’s dependence on you has increased with time.
When that’s the case, consider senior assisted living. Although making this decision can be emotionally fraught, you will find that it is in the best interests of both your loved one and yourself. In this guide, we share with you some signs of caregiver stress to watch out for.
Reasons for Caregiver Stress
There’s no doubt that caregiving can be highly rewarding, however, it also presents its own set of challenges. This is especially true if you aren’t a full-time caregiver and haven’t received the necessary training in senior care. Below are some reasons that can contribute to caregiver stress:
- Worries over finances
- Length of time spent on caregiving duties daily, which can cut into other commitments
- Social isolation and depression
- Having no say in becoming a caregiver
- Lacking the necessary training to provide the best care
- … and more!
Watch Out for These Warning Signs
Caregiver stress can be masked or overlooked out of concern for your loved one. However, it is important to prioritize your own health and wellbeing to ensure that you can be fully present for your loved ones when they need you.
Below are some warning signs of caregiver stress to watch out for:
- Feelings of depression
- Social withdrawal
- Frequent headaches
- Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Sudden changes in weight
- … and more!
The symptoms of caregiver stress can differ from individual to individual. What’s important is recognizing that you are burned out and can benefit from looking into another long-term care option for your loved one.
Dealing with Caregiver Stress
Thankfully, you have options if you are suffering from caregiver stress. Below are some healthy ways of dealing with it:
- Accept help from friends and family members. Instead of attempting to do everything by yourself, let a neighbor go on a grocery run for you or a friend walk your dog once every week.
- Set realistic goals for yourself. Getting through each day may well involve breaking down tasks into easier, more manageable steps. Instead of setting lofty expectations for yourself, focus on what you can provide.
- Look into joining a support group where other caregivers can share what they are going through and share coping strategies.
- If caregiving is getting to be too much of a strain on you, look into other long-term care options. When the decision is made in the best interests of your loved one, there should be no guilt in it. Assisted living can significantly improve your loved one’s quality of life by providing them with the socialization opportunities they need to thrive without compromising on the personalized care they need.