Family caregivers face situations they never expected. Many are thrown into caregiving and have no experience to draw from. These caregivers learn as they go.
Without any experience, it’s easy for family caregivers to become stressed and deal with caregiver fatigue. It’s important to identify caregiver fatigue and take steps to address it before it leads to mental or physical health issues. Here are five identifiers that indicate caregiver fatigue.
#1 – Anger and irritability
Anger is a big indicator. Family caregivers may be angry at the disease or the situation they find themselves in. That anger may spill out into relationships, work, and daily life. Some caregivers become angry at the senior they’re caring for.
People experiencing caregiver fatigue may blame their parents. They blame their parent for not trying hard enough to do things independently. They blame their parents for not doing as they request without argument.
#2 – Anxiety
Family caregivers often spend hours each day worrying about the future. They worry about not being able to keep this level of care up weeks, months, or years from now. They become anxious thinking about the financial burden or emotional burden of providing care.
#3 – Depression
After weeks or months of anxiety and other stressors, people with caregiver fatigue can become depressed. They start to say it would just be easier if they walked away and no longer cared about anybody or themselves. Some may start to comment that it would be easier if they died and no longer had to deal with it.
#4 – Lack of Sleep
As fears and frustrations mount, family caregivers often find they cannot sleep. If they do fall asleep successfully, they wake up and start worrying about something and end up unable to sleep. They worry that their parent might have gotten out of the home and is lost. They worry that their parent is scared or unhappy.
#5 – Withdrawal and Isolation
Caregiver fatigue will have many caregivers spending so much time providing care or worrying that they stop going out with friends. They have excuses as to why they can’t go out. They let long-time friendships slip away and act like it’s perfectly okay.
If you expect caregiver fatigue is a problem, you must start to take time away. Caregivers offer respite care services to allow you to have a break without having to leave your parent alone. Call a home care agency now to discuss setting up respite care.