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Signs That Being a Family Caregiver is Becoming Too Much

March 30, 2016

It is not uncommon for family members to step up and take on the increasing care needs of an aging or ill loved one. However, sometimes the need for professional care simply outweighs what the family caregiver can manage. Below are a few indicators that you may be burning out, or having trouble providing a sufficient level of care for your loved one. If this article is hitting close to home, you may want to consider beginning conversation about making the move to a senior living facility.

 Are You Burnt Out?

Caregiver burnout can affect everyone differently. Sometimes a few days, or a few weeks, can provide you with the balance to recharge. For others, sometimes a break still doesn’t help. Some of the most common signs of caregiver burn out include:

  • No time left for a balance—social life, fitness, personal time
  • Changes in your appetite, resulting in either weight loss or weight gain
  • Decreased immunity
  • Depression
  • Moodiness and increased irritability
  • Extreme sense of being overwhelmed
  • Inability to achieve restful or sufficient sleep

Whether you are feeling some, or all of these factors, this is a serious warning sign that caregiving is weighing on you physically and emotionally. Feeling like this can lead to a personal burn out. This is something you want to avoid at all costs.

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Has Your Loved One’s Care Become Too Much for You to Manage?

Even if you are not burnt out, you may find that your loved one’s care has simply become too much for you to manage. Maybe you cannot afford to take any more time off from work. Maybe their personal care, transfer requirements, or skilled medical care needs have become too complex. It could even be that their memory loss has become so significant that you are not able to keep them safe. These are all indicators that you may want to start the conversation about a senior living facility.

Overcoming Caregiver Guilt

Family caregivers often feel guilt at the thought of their loved one moving into a personal care, assisted living facility, or other affordable senior care facility. What is important to remember is that you and your family can improve your loved one’s safety and quality of care by knowing when it is time to transition into a senior living facility. Not only will your loved one’s quality of care improve, but you and your family will be able to visit your loved one as often as you like. The difference is that you can now remove the stress associated with being the primary caregiver. You can regain balance in your life. Now when you visit your loved one—you will be able to enjoy your time with them.

How to Start the Conversation about Moving Into Personal Care, Assisted Living or Other Skilled Care Facility

When you are ready to approach the topic of moving your loved one in to the appropriate senior facility, start with the facts. Family members who are unfamiliar with your loved one’s daily care needs may not grasp the commitment that comes with being a full-time caregiver. Some factors to begin with include:

  • Cost associated with care—time off work, daily/weekly/monthly expenses.
  • Time required for care each day, including middle of the night care.
  • The increased safety risk associated with declining memory or health.
  • Examples of your loved one’s decline.
  • Your current level of emotional stress.
  • Affordable senior care options
  • the improved quality of care made available for your loved one

This is sure to be an emotional conversation for all, but when the time is right, moving to a senior living facility may be the best decision for every person involved.

If the stress of caring for a loved one is wearing you down emotional and physically, schedule a tour of one of the beautiful senior care communities from Concordia Lutheran Ministries. Our caregivers put their faith into everything they do, helping seniors make the most out of each and every day. We try to provide revitalization for our residents, offering a fresh start in a beautiful community. Take a tour of a Concordia location near you today. You can also call our administrative headquarters at 1-888-352-1571 or message us through the Contact form on our website.

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