When a family member requires around the clock care, it can put a lot of stress on family members. Caregiving is often a full-time job, and when you’re a full-time caregiving on top of working your regular full-time job, stress, anxiety, and depression can easily creep in. This can test caregivers’ physical and emotional boundaries.
High levels of stress and fatigue associated with caregiving are so common that the term caregiving burnout was coined. This condition is incredibly common among family members who are acting as their dying loved one’s sole caregiver.
Every situation will be different, and the size of the family can have a big impact on caregiver burnout. When there are multiple family members willing to pitch in and help take care of the dying loved one, caregiver burnout tends to be less of a risk. On the other side of the coin, higher rates of burnout are seen when only one or two adult children are taking care of a dying parent.
How to Avoid Burnout
There are two steps that must be taken to avoid caregiver burnout – get help and don’t feel guilty. If you’re feeling like you’re getting burnt out, you probably are. This means it’s time to get some extra help. The good news is that there’s a good chance of qualifying for financial assistance through Medicare. Acknowledging the negative effects of caregiver burnout, Medicare offers caregiver support through home health aides and skilled nursing at a free or reduced cost.
Not feeling guilty is the second step to take, and it’s not as easy as you might think. While caregivers might fantasize about having a night off, they often feel guilty about not being with their loved one once they finally get one. It’s important to understand they your loved one is in good hands and will be taken care of. You don’t have to be by their side 24/7.