Caregivers are among the most compassionate and dedicated people we know. The very characteristics that could make someone great at caregiving could also place them at risk. Why? Because caregiving is not only physically demanding, but it also can be mentally draining. And many times caregivers are so caught up in caring for their loved ones, that they neglect to care for themselves.
In the middle of winter – and with the COVID-19 pandemic stretching into its 12th month – many caregivers have had no choice but to isolate themselves within their homes. Now is the perfect time to seriously reflect on:
- your current state of well-being (physically, mentally and emotionally),
- your workload, and
- your support system.
It is true that many caregivers don’t even realize they need help until they’ve literally worked themselves sick. Ask yourself these questions to see where you stand.
5 Signs a Caregiver Needs Help
1. Constant worrying. Do you worry throughout the day about yourself, your care recipient or others?
2. Irritability. Everyone feels irritable from time to time, but do you feel yourself getting short tempered or angry more often than normal? Are simple things causing you to lose your cool?
3. Sleeplessness. Caregiving can be stressful, and that can lead to struggles with sleep, including not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep. Do you feel rested in the morning? Do you want to nap during the day? These may be signs of sleep issues that should be addressed.
4. Loss of energy. If you’re getting adequate sleep, do you find it hard to get motivated to do things, even activities you enjoy? Do you feel less focused or perhaps forgetful? These may be signs you need to take a break and/or get additional support.
5. Increased illness. “Working yourself sick” isn’t just a saying, it’s a real thing! If you’re getting headaches more frequently, feel achy, have an upset stomach regularly, you may be feeling some of the physical manifestations of stress.
If any of this sounds relatable to you and your caregiving situation, you may be at risk of caregiver burnout or other serious illnesses. Always consult with your doctor to discuss what’s going on physically. You should also speak with a professional to discuss what’s going on emotionally – and CICOA’s CareAware program may be just what you need!
Get the support you need on your caregiving journey. Email email@example.com or call us at (317) 803-6140 or (317) 803-6002 today.