Warning Signs for Caregivers
When is it okay to cry "Uncle"? To say, "I can't give any more unless I get help"?
Being a caregiver can be exhausting, both physically and emotionally. Many caregivers find it much easier to focus on their loved one's needs and neglect their own.
An unfortunate outcome of that situation is that a caregiver's own health may suffer more and more until eventually he or she will need care.
If you notice any of the following warning signs, you are probably approaching caregiver overload and should seek assistance from your circle of friends and family, a local support group, a self-help agency, or talk with your hospice social worker about your options.
- You feel that no matter what you do, it isn't enough.
- You feel you're the only person in the world enduring this.
- You no longer have any time or place to be alone for even a brief respite.
- Caregiving tasks have become a major part of your daily routine.
- Family relationships are breaking down because of the caregiving pressures.
- Your caregiving duties are interfering with your work and social life to an unacceptable degree.
- You are going on in a no-win situation just to avoid admitting failure.
- You realize you're all alone—and doing it all—because you've shut out everyone who's offered help.
- You refuse to think of yourself because "that would be selfish" (even though you're unselfish 99% of the time).
- Your coping methods have become destructive: you're overeating or under eating, using too much alcohol or too many drugs, or taking it out on your loved ones.
- There are no more happy times, loving and caring have given way to exhaustion and resentment, and you no longer feel good about yourself or take pride in what you're doing.
Adapted from Modern Maturity