It may be something you don’t want to admit. In fact, you might feel guilty about even thinking about it, but taking care of an aging parent or loved one, requiring ongoing attention, can be quite tiring. You might be frustrated with the demands, overloaded by the many tasks to be addressed, and at times, completely exhausted.
Camille who lives in Westchester County and is taking care of her elderly mother, who is both diabetic and suffers from dementia, knows the feeling all too well.
“In the beginning I was trying to be a superwoman,” says Camille.
“Having my own kids – two teenagers and a young son, and trying to juggle everything, I was just buried. I would come home to a mess, and total confusion. I soon realized I was getting short in my conversation with family because I was feeling resentment. Finally I had to take a break.”
What Camille was feeling is not unusual. Many caregivers understandably jump into the task of senior care, feeling love and a sense of responsibility. They know the job has to be done, but with their own lives and priorities, it isn’t always easy. If you’re also a parent, like Camille, this can be especially tough because raising young children, a task by itself, can be quite demanding.
The key to resolving Caregiver Overload may be greater self-awareness and honesty. Are you acknowledging to yourself and others that you’re feeling burdened? It may also be having more in-depth and frequent communication with relatives about how they can help. While you may not want to start trouble with other family members, the main caregiver must take steps to involve siblings who are not being supportive. It’s easy for others to assume you have it all handled and that their involvement is not necessary. Finally, you must also be sure you take time for yourself.
“If you’ve been a superhero to others, you can be a superhero to yourself and take a break so you don’t burnout.” says Camille.