There are over 53 million family caregivers in the U.S., most of which care for elderly friends and relatives. And although serving as an unpaid senior caregiver is emotionally gratifying, adding daily caregiving responsibilities to an already full plate can be a recipe for caregiver burnout. Volunteering your time and talents without compromising your quality of life requires you to set limits and ask for help. If you are currently serving as a family caregiver, here’s how to recognize the symptoms of burnout and get the professional help you need.
What Are the Warning Signs of Caregiver Burnout?
Regardless of their training and experience, most informal caregivers eventually reach a point when they feel overworked, overtired, and overstressed. Exhaustion, worry, inadequate resources, and depression can be a caregiver’s constant companions.
The average caregiver is more likely to develop a chronic health condition like elevated blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes than a non-caregiver. Looking after a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming for even the most “battle-tested” family caregivers.
Caregiver burnout typically presents with these signs:
- Sleep deprivation
- Anxiety and depression
- Difficulty performing routine tasks.
- Rapid weight gain or loss
- Postponing or completely ignoring medical appointments
- Substance abuse
- Not exercising enough
- Poor eating habits
- Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed.
- Social isolation
Ignoring these symptoms won’t make them go away. If allowed to persist, caregiver burnout will eventually affect the health and wellbeing of both you and your care recipient.
What is Respite Care?
When it’s time to take a well-deserved break, or “respite,” one of your options is hiring a professional respite caregiver from a reputable home care provider. While providing short-term relief for primary caregivers, respite care can be arranged for an afternoon, several days, or several weeks.
In most instances, respite care is provided in a private residence, although it can also be provided in an adult daycare center or residential living facility. When provided in a private residence, the number of hours spent in the client’s home per visit can range from an hour or two up to around-the-clock and live-in care.
What Does a Respite Caregiver Do?
A respite caregiver may be responsible for numerous tasks that the care recipient can no longer perform. In general, respite caregivers are trained to assist with daily living activities such as:
- Helping clients safely get around.
- Assisting clients with their toileting needs.
- Performing hygiene tasks, such as grooming, bathing, and dressing.
- Planning and supervising activities
- Administering medications
- Checking vital signs, such as temperature and blood pressure
Additionally, an in-home respite caregiver may perform these duties:
- Light housework
- Meal preparation and feeding
- Running errands
- Transporting clients to and from appointments
How Can I Find a Professional Respite Caregiver?
Finding the right respite care provider can be stressful, especially if you’ve never done it before. Here’s how to ensure your loved one gets the care they deserve:
- Visit their website and check out their online reputation.
- Learn all you can about the services they offer.
- Read client and employee testimonials.
- Ask if they provide ongoing staff training.
- Find out what their backup plan is in the event of an emergency.
- Determine how much it costs per hour, visit, etc.
- Conduct a screening interview with each potential caregiver that includes your loved one.
In the end, taking these steps when hiring a respite caregiver will restore your peace of mind whenever you are unable to be there.
Flexible In-Home Respite Care for Families in Elkhart, IN
Asking for help as a primary caregiver doesn’t make you a failure. When you need to take a well-deserved break, contact the respite care professionals at Senior1Care. With many years of experience, we are your trusted partner in providing quality, compassionate home care services to seniors living in Elkhart, Dunlap, Jamestown, and Goshen, IN. Our experienced caregivers are trained to deliver professional, reliable care in the same respectful and friendly manner they would treat their own family members.
At Senior1Care, we understand that having a caregiver in your loved one’s home is a decision that requires trust. Our goal is to build relationships with clients by listening to their needs and providing the highest level of quality care possible. We are committed to helping your loved ones maintain their well-being, independence, and comfort. To learn more about our flexible caregiving options or schedule a FREE assessment for a senior in the greater Elkhart, IN, area, visit us by clicking here now.