Let's face it -- caregiving and stress go hand-in-hand, and for a good reason.
Caregivers always worry about the health and well-being of their aging loved one. What happens if they are sick? Are they eating right? Are they happy? The constant worry about those you care for is always present, as is the constant need to balance the rest of life.
While anxiety and worrying are part of the job, stress can cause burnout very quickly if left untreated.
Below are the following red flags to look out for if you or someone you know is experiencing a high amount of caregiver stress, courtesy of AgingCare.com:
1. Depression. Stress comes in different forms for everyone. Depression may seem like an unlikely symptom to burnout, but hopelessness is a huge part of stress.
2. Anger. You may lose your patience with your aging loved one and have difficulty controlling your temper.
3. Lack of concentration. When you are handling other aspects of your life, you may be constantly worrying about your loved one.
4. Changes in diet. Stress causes drastic diet changes. Watch your weight and notice if there is a dramatic loss or gain.
5. Exhaustion. Even if you do not do a lot during the day, caregiving can be emotionally exhausting, causing fatigue.
6. Indulging in unhealthy habits. People will often resort to smoking or excessive drinking when trying to cope with a heavy amount of stress.
As you can see, everyone handles stress in a different way. Regardless of your symptoms, however, stress needs to be handled before severe health complications arise both physically and mentally. If you are experiencing burnout, seek help from your personal support system and senior health resources.
For more information, check out AgingCare.com