5 Signs of Stress in Your Caregiver

By Charlie Kimball, MedicalCareAlert.com

Having a disability is rough, as it's necessary to learn different ways of dealing with your surroundings. With new disabilities, it's often necessary to get a caregiver to assist with the activities of daily living. The right caregiver can bring joy, enriching your life to help you achieve great triumphs, but, like any great calling, there is the chance that the caregiver can burn out. But there will be warnings, and you must be on the lookout for the telltale signs of caregiver stress.

Caregivers and stress

Having empathy with that caregiver is necessary. They are with you to take on the world and conquer the mountain, but there are times where they need to back off for just a moment in order to provide their best service. Here are some red flags that you should be watching for to let you know when your caregiver is in distress.

Are they sleeping well?

Poor sleep is one of the indicators of stress. Reports vary, but your caregiver should be getting between six and eight hours of sleep a night, every night. Are they showing exhaustion around the eyes or do they look a little bit more tired as they care for you? They are there to help you, so it's always good to make sure and check on how they're doing.

Are they getting more irritable?

Stressed out people tend to be more irritable. Caregivers have the best of intentions when they start the caregiving process, but sometimes the emotional and physical stress of the position can take their toll. Having anger is a natural outpouring of that stress, and the best way of coping with it is to find ways to reduce their overall stress levels.

Are they depressed or have difficulty concentrating?

Stress has emotional side effects, as well. Is your caregiver appearing to be depressed? Is there a little less pep in their step, or do they seem to have a little less enthusiasm for life? That might be a sign of caregiver stress. Depression can cause a lack of attention to detail as well, which could be a risk to your care.

Are they using more alcohol or sedatives?

Drugs and alcohol are dangerous roads to follow, but there are many who turn down these paths as a result of the stress that they are feeling. Are you noticing any erratic behavior, behavior which may be caused by drugs or alcohol being part of the mix? These are dangerous habits and must be noted and addressed as soon as they are realized, as they might also be a risk to your quality care.

Do they appear like they don't care anymore?

Does your caregiver look like they're the one who needs to have a medical alert bracelet? Are they listless with what they're doing, or just sloppy with their actions? They might not even be aware of it, until you point it out to them. What kind of care are you receiving from your caregiver? If their stress levels are leading to burnout, it may be time to find another caretaker so they can recover before something goes wrong.

Don't let your caregiver get burned out. Keep an eye out for these warning signs. Don't be afraid to ask about your caretaker's stress levels and how you can help them help you in your ongoing care.

About the author:

Charlie Kimball, works for MedicalCareAlert.com, a Michigan-based company providing home care monitoring for family members who choose to stay at home despite medical challenges. A graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit, Charlie blogs for the company.
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