10 Ways To Know You Need Outside Help For Caregiving
April 30, 2012 § Leave a comment
When you are a caregiver it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of taking care of your loved one. Even though it seems stressful, many people think they can handle the situation and realize, many times too late, that they are overwhelmed and need help. But if you can recognize some of the warning signs that you require outside assistance, you will be able to better serve your loved one’s needs.
- Guilt – If you feel like you are never able to do enough for the loved one you are caring for, maybe it’s time to admit you can’t “do it all” and ask for help.
- Loss of Interest – Not feeling enjoyment from your favorite pastime or hobby. TV shows that used to make you laugh aren’t funny anymore.
- Antisocial – If you find you want to socialize less than normal. Spending time with close friends and family seems unappealing or pointless.
- Weight Loss or Weight Gain – Stress can cause changes in our meal habits and even eating disorders. If you find yourself turning to food constantly for comfort or the opposite, you begin to skip meals, it may be time to ask for caregiving help.
- Sleep Disruption – You may be experiencing burnout if your sleep patterns have dramatically changed. Insomnia and/or fatigue are both signs of over stressed caregivers.
- Irritability – Do you find yourself easily losing patience? Situations that wouldn’t normally bother you, are now causing emotional outbursts.
- Lack of Concentration – Achieving tasks that may have seemed easy, may become more difficult to finish (or even start) when you are stressed out.
- Sickness – Stress can take a toll on our health. If you find yourself more sick than usual or you find your illnesses are sticking around longer than normal, it could be a sign that stress has weakened your immune system.
- Violent thoughts – If you ever have thoughts of harming the person you are caring for or any person in general, you may be suffering from extreme burnout and need to seek the help of a mental health professional.
- Suicidal thoughts – Taking care of a loved one should NEVER make you have suicidal thoughts. If it does, you should immediately contact a mental health professional.
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time to find some help for your caregiving duties. There are many options available including in-home nursing assistance, adult daycare or assisted living facilities. Financial resources will probably be a determing factor, in which case you may need professional advice to help decide which option is best for your family.
The Law Office of Dawn M. Weekly, PC. is located in Sandwich, Illinois and focuses on elder law and Life Care Planning for clients. Their office may be reached by calling 815-570-2334.