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April is Stress Awareness Month: Are You Showing Signs of Caregiver Stress?

We’re willing to bet that if we asked you a question about your aging family member’s health, you’d have a ready answer. After all, as their family caregiver, it’s your job to stay on top of their care. What if we asked you how you’re doing? Would you have an answer that didn’t go something like, “Oh, I’m fine”? If you’re like many caregivers, your responsibilities may be keeping you too busy to take care of yourself. The strain of being a caregiver and not taking care of yourself could lead to caregiver stress or burnout. Not sure if you’re experiencing it? Here are some signs that you might have caregiver stress.

You Feel a Mixture of Anger, Sadness, and Frustration

You may be feeling exhausted, both physically and emotionally. One moment you’re just tired, and the next you’re angry or sad. Maybe you “fly off the handle” more easily than you once did. Or, perhaps you find yourself breaking into tears out of the blue.

You Get Sick Easily

Caregivers often neglect to look after their own physical health. You might be grabbing quick, but not always healthy, meals while you rush off to your next responsibility. Or, maybe you don’t have time to exercise. When you don’t take care of yourself, your immune system suffers and can’t fight off the germs you come in contact with.

It’s Been A While Since You Spent Time with Friends

Caregivers often withdraw from friends as a result of their caregiving duties. They may lack the energy or enthusiasm for doing the things they once did, or they may simply not have the time.

You Find Yourself Getting Angry at the Person You’re Caring For

Caregiver burnout can cause you to snap at the older adult with little provocation. The frustration and exhaustion of being a caregiver can make you irritable, even when you know you shouldn’t be.

You Don’t Sleep Well

Caregiver stress can cause you to lay awake at night worrying. You might worry about things you think you did wrong. Or, you might worry about things you weren’t able to get done.

If you are suffering from caregiver stress, hiring home care is a great way to allow you more time to take care of yourself. Home care can assist with many of the tasks family caregivers do, such as meal preparation, light house-cleaning, and laundry. Home care can also run errands, remind your family member to take medications, and ensure they safe when you cannot be there yourself.

Sources
https://www.alz.org/ri/in_my_community_17562.asp
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/caregiver-stress-and-burnout.htm
https://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-12-2011/caregiver-burnout.html

If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregivers in Wallingford, CT, please contact the caring staff at Franciscan Ever There Care. Call today 203-630-2881.

Christopher LaRiviere

Christopher LaRiviere is the Executive Director of Franciscan Ever There, a faith based non-profit organization located in Meriden CT.

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About the Author:

Christopher LaRiviere is the Executive Director of Franciscan Ever There, a faith based non-profit organization located in Meriden CT.

Franciscan Ever There Care
273 Finch Ave
Meriden, CT 06451
(203) 630-2881
clientservices@franciscanetc.org

DCP#: HCA0000439

"I couldn’t do without Franciscan Ever There Care. I feel like each and every homemaker I’ve met is like one of my daughters. They treat my house and my belongings like they were their own. They are all so wonderful and they make me happy." - J. L.