If you’re presently taking care of an older adult, you know how rewarding – and challenging – it can be. On one hand, you get to spend time with an amazing person who has the wisdom of the world to offer.[1. “A Look at What Seniors Have to Offer,” September 21, 2011, https://www.seniorcitizenjournal.com/seniorcitizenjournal/why-are-seniors-important/] But on the other hand, the tasks associated with this can quickly become difficult, onerous, and exhausting.
Most people look to their loved one when considering Palo Alto home care. They see that he or she may need additional help around the house or when they go out. However, there are many reasons to appraise your own wellbeing as well as theirs when contemplating hiring a care professional.
Signs you may need Palo Alto home care
Have you noticed any of the following things about yourself lately? If so, don’t hesitate to find a professional who can take some of the burden off your shoulders:
Are your sleeping patterns off?
The super-fast pace of our lives today is enough to make anyone need a few extra zzz’s. But if you’ve noticed a change in your sleeping patterns, it’s time to consider whether your caretaking role is to blame. Do you find yourself constantly exhausted, perhaps nodding off at inappropriate times? Do you lie awake at night, even though you’re dog tired? Maybe you even wake up several times instead of sleeping through a solid seven or eight hours.
Whatever the case may be, sleep problems are just one of the signs that you need a helping hand. More importantly, not getting enough sleep can have serious consequences. Not only can it severely damage your health in the long run, but it increases the risk of you getting hurt in accidents (for example, if you crash your car because you dozed off at the wheel).
Are you getting sick more often?
Do you notice yourself receiving more frequent injuries lately? Perhaps you chalk it up to clumsiness or lack of coordination, but you never remember it being this bad before. You might also feel aches and pains in strange places, such as your back, shoulders, or stomach. Then there’s the way you seem to pick up every little bug and virus that goes around.
All these things may be occurring because you’re overwhelmed with caregiving. If you’re preoccupied with worries about your loved one, you may not notice your surroundings well enough to avoid accidents. You may be holding tension in your body, leading to unexplained soreness. Finally, stress can suppress your immune system, making you vulnerable to more frequent illnesses.
Do you feel emotionally fragile or “fried?”
Oddly enough, one of the greatest hazards that caregivers face isn’t physical instability – it’s emotional instability. Does trying to complete simple, everyday tasks make you want to cry, or clench your fists in frustration. Are you angry and irritable a great deal of the time? Do you find yourself lashing out at those closest to you, including the person you’re caring for?
No, you haven’t been possessed by an evil supernatural force. Feeling like you’re at the end of your rope is common among overwhelmed caregivers. Day in and day out, you’re expected to be patient, concerned, and compassionate, even though you may be receiving none of these things in return. There is only so much a person can take before they emotionally collapse from never-ending stress.
What happens when you don’t get Palo Alto home care?
There’s nothing wrong with admitting you need help to look after an aging loved one. In fact, doing so might be one of the most important steps you can take in protecting your well-being and theirs. Caregiver burnout is a very real phenomenon, and can negatively affect your ability to act in your loved one’s best interests.[2. “Recognizing Caregiver Burnout,” https://www.webmd.com/caregiver-recognizing-burnout] Just as importantly, accepting more responsibility than you can handle puts your health at risk as well. Then who will take on the caregiving role if you are unable to? These are only a few of the reasons to start looking for a professional caregiver today!
If you are unsure of how to best help an aging loved one, the trained and compassionate staff at the Institute on Aging is here to help you make that decision and gain the best in at-home care for older adults. Contact us to find out more.