Caregiver Stress: How to Manage Common Caregiver Frustrations

caregiver frustration

According to a joint study by the AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, an estimated 44 million Americans provided caregiver services for an adult family member in 2015.

While many of them took the responsibility of providing care for a family member willingly, an overwhelming number of them believe they had no choice in assuming the role of caregiver. This can cause enormous frustration and resentment for a caregiver, particularly among siblings in situations where one sibling feels they have been forced into the caregiver role.

One way for family members to alleviate this frustration is to develop a plan for other family members to occasionally step in to relieve the primary caregiver. The sacrifice of as little as a few hours a week can make an enormous difference to a caregiver who feels they are unfairly shouldering the burden of caring for a loved one on their own.

Another leading cause of frustration among caregivers is the emotional state of the person being cared for. It is very common for a senior in long-term care to become depressed, and this can manifest itself in anger, emotional outbursts, or refusal to cooperate with the caregiver.

Caregiver stress is a very normal occurrence—even for professionals.

While you can’t control your loved one’s emotions, you can control how you respond to them. Staying calm and in control can help defuse the situation and prevent escalation. Take a deep breath and try to fully assess the situation from the perspective of the person receiving the care. If the roles were reversed, how would you feel at that moment?

Caregivers also need to remember to take the time to care of themselves, both physically and mentally. Many caregivers ignore their own personal needs, skipping medical appointments, not eating regular meals, and not getting adequate sleep. The long-term effects of those choices can be devastating, leading to poor health, increased frustration, and an inability to provide adequate care.

Understandably, when the elderly lose their independence and mobility, it can be difficult to come to terms with. They often vent frustrations on a family member even more than on a professional caregiver. The key is to remember that you are not alone and that there are healthy ways to cope with and reduce your stress.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for a loved one, remember that help is available. At David York Agency, we provide full and part-time support for caregivers and their families to lessen the burden of ensuring their loved one is safe, happy, and healthy. .

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.”

 

Preventing Caregiver Stress From Turning Into Caregiver Burnout

caregiver stress

“There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” ― Rosalyn Carter

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and the AARP Public Policy Institute, an estimated 43.5 million adults in the United States have provided unpaid care to an adult or a child in the prior 12 months. Of those numbers, 85 percent are taking care of a relative, while 15 percent care for a friend, neighbor, or other unrelated individual. About 49% care for a parent or parent-in-law, and most report that they spend at least $5,000 in non-reimbursed expenses.

Caring for a loved one that requires assistance is an act of love, but it can also be very mentally, physically, and financially stressful. If caregivers don’t make a concerted effort to manage and cope with that stress, this act of love can quickly turn into caregiver burnout.

Not only does caregiver stress and burnout hurt you and put your health at risk, but it also puts your loved one and their health at risk, as it affects your ability to provide proper care. Learning to spot the signs of caregiver stress allows you to step back, recharge, and get back on the right track before it turns into a more serious problem.

Signs of Caregiver Stress

  • Health problems that are new or begin to get worse
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Excessive feelings of fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety, depression, irritability
  • Increasing feelings of resentment
  • Drinking, smoking, or emotional eating

caregiver burnout

Finding healthy ways to manage stress before it turns into burnout is important. Some effective techniques for stress management include:

  • allowing others to help with caregiver duties;
  • getting regular exercise;
  • meditating or doing relaxing breathwork;
  • eating consistent, healthy meals;
  • taking time for yourself;
  • and finding support groups.

Failing to deal with caregiver stress can and will eventually lead to burnout. Once you reach this stage, taking care of your loved one is no longer healthy for you or them.

Signs of Caregiver Burnout

  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Unable to relax when given the opportunity
  • Neglecting your own needs due to being too busy or just not caring
  • Becoming more irritated by or impatient with the loved one you are caring for
  • Getting sick with colds or other illnesses very easily

If you feel you may be experiencing caregiver burnout, the first and most important thing to do is to speak up. Tell your family and friends how you’re feeling and come to terms with the fact that you need help. See if another family member can assist you with caregiving responsibilities or consider enlisting professional help a few days a week so you can have more time to yourself.

The most important thing to remember is that, in order to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life, your life cannot revolve around caregiving alone. Hobbies, physical activity, social outings, and free time for relaxation are all important parts of a balanced life. Pay careful attention to your needs, check-in with your mental and physical wellness, and take the time to show yourself appreciation and love.

If you’re having trouble finding the time you need to properly manage caregiver stress, David York Agency is here to help. We provide families with the additional support they need to care for both their loved ones and themselves.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need.
If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.