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Caregiver Burnout: I’m Angry, I’m Tired, and I’m at My Wit’s End

Alzheimer’s and dementia present many challenges. At early onset there are little things; forgotten appointments, lost wallets, and mild confusion to name a few.  However, with progression, those suffering require more and more attention both for their own safety as well as to maintain the activities of daily living.  Making sure a loved one eats enough, drinks enough, takes their meds, and goes to bed at appropriate times can become an exhausting task. In addition, preventing falls, and being certain the stove has not been left on can be worrisome.

Many family CAREGivers find they become angry at their loved one for their inability to understand or cooperate.  The sheer repetition of trying over and over to accomplish what is an otherwise simple task becomes exhausting and then tomorrow you start all over again assuming the suffering loved one sleeps through the night.  When we deal with family members experiencing a loved one in these circumstances, we almost always hear the same thing – the title of this article – “I’m angry, I’m tired, and I’m at my wit’s end”.  When we get tired, all of us become impatient, less tolerant, and even illogical.  This makes dealing with a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease all the more difficult. 

As a caregiver for a family member, it is extremely important you make certain you take care of yourself and allow time to do the things you need to do for you.  That includes all of the simple errands we do every day like shop for food, change the oil, feed the cat….you get the idea.  But, it also includes relaxation, entertainment, respite time, and even a vacation.  Your likely reaction to this information is that you will feel guilty if you take a vacation or go to a movie or do most anything for yourself.  The reality is, you will be a better CAREGiver if you do and more importantly, you will be a better daughter /son /husband /wife /loved one.  Consider allowing others to help.  Share the load with other family members or bring in a professional CAREGiver.  Often family members who are not actively involved in providing care are unaware of what you are going through.  The 50-50 Rule is a publication provided by Home Instead Senior Care to help siblings overcome family conflict while caring for aging parents. 

Home Instead Senior Care also provides an app for your iphone or android cell phone that gives pointers in certain situations as well as provides for interactions with others in the same situation.   If you call or email me I will happily send you a free copy of the publication or a link to the app.  Hiring a professional CAREGiver can bring back your sanity and your peace of mind.  It may only need to be a couple hours per week, but it can provide the break that brings back a sense of calm.  You will be able to take care of you and know your loved one is being cared for as well.

 

Editor’s Note:  This article was provided by By Bill Carroll with Home Instead Senior Care®   Skippack, PA. To learn more about your local Home Instead Senior Care® office, contact Bill Carroll at 610-584-8200, bill.carroll@homeinstead.com or go to HomeInstead.com/688.  Each Home Instead Senior Care® franchise office is independently owned and operated. 

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