Showing care and concern for the elderly fraternity, be it your own family or any stranger, can be extremely pleasing and rewarding. There is a lot of satisfaction involved in this. But this, for some, could also be very upsetting and frustrating. You will hardly know this if you have never been involved in this sort of an issue earlier in your life. It can make you very pessimistic and put you on the downfall track of burnout. It will take a lot from you to recoup yourself and get your acts together. It is no temporary action as you need to be at it full time, even if you are elsewhere. Thus it becomes very important to know to recognize the frustration and stress involved and how to cope with it.
Caregivers also experience a similar case of trauma and stress over a period of time just like a person taking care of an elderly relative. The upsetting part would be the elderly person after some time, turn at you and not recognize you for all the work you had done. It is very disturbing for sure even though this could be an extreme example taken into consideration. There are various other sources of stress when it comes to taking care of elders. Non-compliance with requests, threatening, violence or even intolerable behaviour, confusion and illness are certain other things which cause the problem. You might have to put in extra effort sometimes on a full-time basis and this could be tiring. Even if you are not working on a full-time basis with a particular elder it is extremely hard. Your mind will tend to stagnate on this issue and it’s tough switching your mind. All your focus might be directed to this and thereby losing control over things.
Recognizing the symptoms before it strikes you is very important. During stress, you will figure out that it is difficult to eat and sleep properly. Lack of sleep and a depressing mood can let you down. You will burst into tears for no good reason and this could be a problem sometimes. The feeling of emptiness has an adverse effect as you will know that you have nothing left and you don’t have a choice but to continue. Lethargy will result and frustration starts to creep on you. You might be even directing your irritation to the person you taking care of at that time. You will have very less time to devote to your family and friends as all your time will be taken up here. Hence, your life will totally revolve around the person you are taking care of and your mood swings like a pendulum. Whether you can help it or not, your temperament will be under the scanner. You will have to resort to something else if the time arises.
You must show more concern for yourself and your health when such symptoms arise. It is tough to continue your good job if you can be mentally fit. So you should be ready to solve the problem on your own and cope up with it according to your needs of relaxation. A few of them take a break for a while by going on a holiday or anything that sets their mind off it. You can arrange for another person during that time of your relaxation. You will not worry constantly while doing this and this can help you immensely with your health. A few people go to a counsellor to discuss their problems and open out to them. Sometimes people get help from home and this can be all the more helpful. There is no way to avoid the stress that caregivers encounter during their tenure. But you should give importance and time for yourself. Caregivers are no different and they deserve a break as well. Taking care of you is of utmost priority. Devote equal time and space for yourself before things get bigger on you. Detecting stress and abstaining from stress can do wonders for you.