When your loved one gets old, they will need you to spend more time with them. Even if this doesn’t seem to be hard for you, and you want to help whenever you can, it will start to affect your family relationship. If, over time, your relationship starts to become strained and the time comes that you need outside help, you shouldn’t feel bad. Having someone help you when you can no longer do it all by yourself, whether physically or emotionally, doesn’t make you a bad caregiver.
Caregiver Burnout Statistics
Being a caregiver for most family caregivers is a second job. They probably have their families and a full-time job. What they don’t know is that caring for someone, even if it’s a family member, doesn’t come easily. It’s like having another job, and we are not talking about part-time responsibilities. AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving say that most family caregivers spend more than 20 hours per week taking care of their loved one.
If you take a more in-depth look at this statistic, 13% of all family caregivers spend 40 hours a week on this. It is like having another full-time job. Add a family of your own and other responsibilities and hobbies, and it’s quite a lot of work for a single individual.
Almost 30% of the population of the United States of America is a caregiver of the sort that provides care for an ill or disabled family member or even a friend. This is roughly around 65 million people.
Caregiver Family Problems
It is clear that this much work can put a strain on family relationships. With time, you will start feeling resentment towards the person you are caring for. When this happens, you will also experience guilt.
Most people that get into this situation get stuck between their family duty and the feeling that, while they are caring for their loved one, life is passing by.
Furthermore, when the person who is a primary caregiver in a family starts working too much, it can feel like the rest of the family isn’t doing their share of the work. Over time, the resentment will only grow, because you will think about how everyone else is leading a normal life while you are stuck caring for Mom or Dad.
The biggest issue with being a family caregiver on a full-time schedule is that you won’t have time for anything else. This will lead to the loss of your social life. When you have a job and a loved one to care for, you will barely have any time to rest and sleep.
If you spend too much time without a social life, you will—without a doubt—fall prey to depression. There are studies that show the immune system is weakened by this lifestyle. For family caregivers who spend five or more years in the line of duty, it is not unusual for them to become ill as a consequence.
One of the main issues that follows the call of caregiving is caregiver stress. If you are not good at handling pressure and pour it out on your family, things will only get worse. Taking care of someone often means that you aren’t taking good care of yourself, which in the long run will cause problems in all spheres of your life.
Tips for Coping With Caregiver Burnout
If burnout is what you are feeling while caring for your loved one, there are things that you can do. The best tips are:
- Deal with anger.
- Deal with anxiety.
- Ask for professional and outside help.
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