Am I Experiencing Caregiver Burnout?
"I am the primary caregiver for my mother who is in her 90's. She lives alone, and if I did not stop by daily, things would quickly deteriorate. Mom is capable of making meals, though cleaning up is quite haphazard. I clean her house, bake, run errands, shop for groceries, take her to medical appointments, and manage anything else she needs.
I also care for my grandchildren full-time and work part-time in the evenings and weekends. Basically, I work seven days a week and care for my mother. My siblings help out, though I feel the most responsible. Do you think I am burned out? Could caregiving be affecting my health?" - READER
Caregiving is stressful for anyone that assumes a double-duty role, like yourself. Caring for grandchildren 40 plus hours per week, working, and caring for your mother is a very heavy load. The fact that your mother is in her 90's makes it likely that you are about 60 years old yourself.
Usually, when someone asks the question “Am I burned out?”, they likely know the answer. I want you to ask yourself these questions:
- Am I eating three balanced meals a day, at the table, with enough time to digest my food?
- Do I sleep eight hours or so a night?
- Do I vacation?
- Do I take time to play?
- Do I spend time with my spouse or friends?
- Do I sleep well?
- Is my weight normal?
- Am I healthy?
- Am I happy?
- Am I anxious?
- Am I satisfied?
Honestly answer the questions. Then make the necessary adjustments so that you can answer them all with a "Yes!" It is easy to say that, but the truth is that everything you do is a choice. Watching your grandchildren is a choice. Working seven days per week is a choice. Being the “responsible one” is a choice. It may be time for a few tweaks in your plan to create a little room for balance in your life. It may be time for those who surround you to assume more responsibility.
I wish you success with your journey.
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