The United States population is getting older and caregivers are more commons, but so is caregiver fatigue. In fact, by 2030, all of the baby boomer generation will be older than 65, meaning that one out of every five people will be of the retirement age. The population ages, more and more people will need help living their day-to-day lives, not everyone can live independently for their entire life. Because of this, assisted living facilities and caretakers will become more common and popular methods for helping seniors.
Caretakers provide a valuable service for their loved one. They are there to help them with day-to-day activities and make sure that they safely make it through the day’s tasks. Whether there is a caretaker present because a loved one needs help with a dementia-related illness, a movement disability, or just help taking the proper medication, caretakers provide a lot of services.
Unfortunately, being a caretaker can be exhausting and can limit someone’s ability to function properly unless the proper steps are taken. Many caretakers deal with a problem called “caretaker stress” or “caretaker fatigue”, these issues can cause a number of health problems and can make doing their job harder.
What Is Caregiver Fatigue?
Oftentimes, caregiver’s will put their loved one’s comfort and happiness in front of their own. While this is an obvious selfless act and it can improve your loved one’s overall well-being, it can have a number of negative effects on your own.
Caregiver fatigue can take many forms and can cause feelings of frustration, anger, and helplessness. Other symptoms and signs of caregiver fatigue include:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling alone or isolated
- Strange sleep patterns
- Feeling tired or exhausted
- Headaches or body aches
- Feeling worried or sad
- Losing interest in activities that you normally enjoy
While these can be obviously harmful to you, it can also lead to a number of problems with actual caretaker duties. If you are too fatigued or tired, you may make mistakes with giving medication or may be unable to assist with some movement.
Regardless of the specific situation, caretaker fatigue can lead to many health-related issues and can interfere with your own day-to-day life if you are not careful.
Luckily, there are methods and strategies that you can begin to employ in your life to avoid or negate these issues.
How To Avoid Caregiver Fatigue
There are many ways that you can improve your situation and avoid caregiver fatigue. Just making a few small lifestyle changes can make a huge impact on how caregiving affects you. It will help you provide care for your loved one for longer and avoid problems with care-taking.
Having a poor-quality diet is a major problem when it comes to physical and mental health. Having a poor diet can lead to it becoming a habit. Too often it happens where fast food becomes an easy out for getting food. It is important to get a well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet.
We all know that exercise is a great way to stay mentally and physically healthy. It may seem hard to get exercise in when you are acting as a caregiver to your loved one. However, this gives you a golden opportunity to get exercise with your loved one. As people age, exercise can become hard but it is still important. The easiest way to get started is by starting slow and work your way up. Just go for a short walk around the block to get yourself going. From there you can work your way up to going faster and farther distances. Overall, just making sure that you are staying active will help to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with caregiver fatigue.
If the problem is severe enough, it may be a good idea to seek the help of others. It is common for many caretakers to feel isolated and frustrated but it is important to remember that you are not alone. Many caregivers may also be having a hard time. Luckily, there are a number of support groups and local resources that you can reach out to if you are struggling with some of these problems. You can look into these by checking your local area agency on aging, it can also be beneficial to look into how ElderCare can talk.
Meditation is one easy way that you can relieve stress and solve issues related to anxiety and other mental health disorders. Meditation can be a great tool for overcoming problems like caregiver fatigue. Meditation can help with a number of mental and physical health problems. There are many different types of meditation that can prove to be helpful for body and brain health. For example, a review of over 3500 participants suggested that mindfulness and motivation practices can help to improve problems and symptoms related to anxiety and depression.
Along with these easy tips, there are many other options for those looking to solve problems and symptoms related to caregiver fatigue. Do not take the fatigue-related symptoms lightly, it is important you know that these are serious issues that can lead to serious consequences.
As the population ages and more caretakers are made available to these aging individuals, it is inevitable that more people will experience problems related to caretaker fatigue. This problem is closely related with mental and physical health issues such as feeling isolated, depression, sadness, exhaustion, and more. Fortunately, there are ways that you can alleviate and avoid some of these symptoms, such as by exercising, eating healthy, meditating, and more.
Because caregiver fatigue is a serious problem, some people may need to make other accommodations for their loved one. Luckily, there are other services available such as assisted living facilities that can help. Landmark Senior Living is one facility that can help your loved one. Landmark has activities and qualified staff in place to ensure that your loved one has a happy and healthy experience during their time at Landmark. If you would like to learn more about how Landmark Senior Living can help, please visit our website and schedule a complimentary walkthrough.