On average, there are around 1 in 10 people who are acting as the family caregiver - providing daily support to their loved ones. Caregivers may sometimes be more at risk of suffering low moods and even depression - these are responses to a challenging situation which you as a new caregiver may not be used to; or as someone who has been looking after a loved one for a long time without a break.
Many caregivers ignore their own needs to ensure their loved one is being looked after physically and mentally, is comfortable, and has everything they need. They often simply don't have the time to tend to their own needs. If you're a caregiver, these are some signs to look out for that you may be fatigued and on your way to a burnout:
Sudden bursts of sadness, anger and low mood
Feelings of hopelessness
Sleeping too much, or too little
Eating for comfort, or not eating enough
Feeling tired all the time
Lack of excitement and motivation to do things you enjoy
Not being able to focus on daily tasks
If you're feeling overwhelmed and any of the above apply to you, it's time to reach out and get support. The first thing to do is to speak to your GP if you're feeling very low and unmotivated. It's important you look after yourself as a caregiver to be able to provide the best care for your loved one, without burning out:
Speak to friends and family - even a 10 minute conversation can lift your mood
Find a routine to exercise - a walk around the block, a quick at home workout session, or if you can go to the gym for a change of scenery will release endorphins and make you feel better
Watch what you eat - include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, protein, healthy carbs, and drink plenty of water
Get respite care for your loved one so you can take a break for a week or two - it's important you get plenty of rest
Put yourself first - you can't pour from an empty cup!
If you are thinking about taking a break for a week (or a few weeks!) we can help you arrange a Live-in Carer who will look after your loved one whilst you rest. Call our team today on 01264 319 399 to have a no obligation conversation about your loved one, and talk through your care options.