When Is Enough, Enough?: The Signs Of Caregiver Stress

When an elderly parent or loved one begins to have problems coping with daily life, it is often time to call upon a person to give them the care they need.  This person could be a professional caregiver or someone who is related to the person.

Being a caregiver is not an easy task, especially when it is a parent or other close relative in need of the care.  It takes a lot of time with the person who, depending on their mental condition, may not seem to be appreciative of the caregiver’s efforts. This constant stress of watching a loved one deteriorate from their former selves, while balancing other responsibilities, can lead to “burnout”.  It is at this time that the caregiver’s friends and family members should be on the lookout.  Some of the signs to watch for include, but are not limited to:

  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Harm to themselves or others
  • Unexpected Weight Loss or Gain

So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation?  As a caregiver, you will want to seek the advice of your doctor. Losing your health while caring for someone else will do no one any good.  Reach out to your family members and see if they cannot lend a hand in the responsibilities. Many times, this responsibility is left to one person because they are the ones who initially “stepped up” and did not realize the tremendous amount of stress involved.  Recognizing this breaking point will help all parties involved and may also stop elder abuse or neglect.  This is not always intentional and can be avoided before it happens.  It may be time to seek a professional to come in to care for your loved one.
In addition to seeking out the help of a doctor, professional caregiver, or family member to help with stress, you can also contact www.eldercare.gov, the Eldercare Channel which can be accessed via the Kabb Law Firm Website, or call the Kabb Law Firm at 216-991-KABB (5222).