You can’t always be there. But we can.
Being a new caregiver doesn’t necessarily put you into a crisis, but it can make you more vulnerable to situations that can contribute. If you recognize any of these signs in your own life right now, you might need to take some fast action on your own behalf.
You Pretty Much Only See Your Elderly Loved One
Caregiving can take up quite a bit of your time and energy, that’s for sure. But if the only people you see or talk to anymore are your elderly loved one and other people connected to her care, such as her doctor, that’s a problem. You need to be able to maintain your relationships with your other family members and friends. If you don’t, you’re going to wind up isolating yourself even more than you already are.
You’re Maxed out on Vacation Time, Sick Leave, and Other Time Off
What this means is that you’re having to take an incredible amount of time away from work to deal with situations for your elderly loved one. You might need to find out if your employer will allow you to work a more flexible schedule that accommodates all of your loved one’s needs. You might also need to look into other options, such as hiring home care providers or working with other family members to fill gaps for you.
You’re Constantly Exhausted
Caregiving is exhausting work. It can be emotionally exhausting, definitely, but it can also wear you out physically. Then, if you’re not sleeping well at night, that just complicates the situation even more. You can’t possibly do everything that you need to do without the right amount of sleep. If you’re having extreme difficulty, make sure that you talk to your doctor about a solution.
What Sense of Humor?
When you’re exhausted, you have no time off left at work, and you have no social life anymore, it’s not a far cry from there to losing your sense of humor entirely. This problem can be especially obvious if you’ve always had a healthy sense of humor in the past and lately nothing is funny at all.
The Dryer Keeps Shrinking Your Clothes
Being in crisis can cause you to gain or lose weight without even realizing that it’s happening. Other problems contribute, from not getting enough sleep to eating on the run. If you can start being more mindful about your own health, you can usually get weight loss and gain under better control.
There are other signs, too, of course, but these are some of the bigger ones. If this describes you, find a way to get some respite time. That might mean hiring home care providers, which is totally worth the peace of mind you get in return.