Suffering from caregiver fatigue? You’re not alone

Posted on

Sep 05, 2017

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More than 65 million Americans nearly 1/3 of the adult population - will care for an elderly, disabled or chronically ill family member or friend this year.
Caring for a loved one can be exhausting. Frequent trips back and forth to doctors appointments, cooking, cleaning, assisting with bathing and toileting, and managing a confusing array of medications can take a toll on a caregivers mental and physical health. Caring for someone elses needs often involves sacrificing your own, and most caregivers will tell you that the first thing to go is a good nights sleep. A full 90% of caregivers surveyed reported suffering from chronic sleep deprivation. Add the physical and emotional stress of caring for another person, and youve got a recipe for disaster, often resulting in a condition commonly referred to as caregiver burnout or compassion fatigue.



Defined as a debilitating psychological condition brought about by unrelieved stress, caregiver burnout can result in feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, mood swings, loss of appetite, fatigue and a host of physical ailments. Prolonged unrelieved stress can also lead to more serious conditions, so its vitally important for a caregiver to practice self-care in order to avoid burnout. The first step in self-care is taking periodic breaks from caregiving. In addition to eating well, getting sufficient sleep and keeping an active lookout for signs of depression, its important to get out of the house daily for fresh air, exercise and social connection. Caring for yourself also requires having the courage to ask for and accept help when necessary. If friends or family members are not available to lend a hand, consider calling a caregiving service to provide daytime or overnight assistance so you can leave the house or get a good nights sleep, knowing that your loved one is in good hands. Caregiving services play a vital role in preventing caregiver fatigue by providing the help you need to care for your loved one and the time you need to care for yourself.

Editorial Note: This article was submitted by Stephanie Rosuck, JD, Director of Marketing and Community Outreach for Cambridge Caregivers, a locally owned and operated caregiving service. Stephanie can be reached at 214-789-6546 or stephanie@cambridgecaregivers.com.

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