The staff providing hospice and palliative care in Los Angeles clearly understand that being a caregiver can get very overwhelming at times, especially when you are responsible for an elderly person or a person who is under hospice. Sadly, many of us have witnessed too many caregivers be too reluctant when it comes to seeking the help they require since they feel it’s part of their obligation. On a positive note, many options are available for caregivers who may start to feel demoralized.
Typically, caregivers have an “I want, and I can do it all” attitude when it comes to taking care of their loved ones in palliative or hospice care. However, as the professionals point out, this can be an unrealistic target that they set for themselves. There may be moments when you may need help, either temporarily or permanently, as a caregiver. Keep on reading to find out what are the signs when you should ask for support and how to get it.
Six Signs That Show You Need Caregiver Assistance
The most evident signs that a hospice and palliative care professional is overwhelmed and requires help with their duties include depression, anxiety, irritability, both physical and emotional exhaustion, impatience, a lack of appetite or overeating, and withdrawal from loved ones. If these symptoms exist, it is critical to find extra caregiver assistance, maybe in the way of hospice or palliative care.
A lot of the time, caregivers become depressed and don’t even know it. This usually happens since they have become so worn out and overwhelmed by their caregiver responsibilities. The symptoms of their depression may be indirect, and the caregiver may hide their symptoms or not have any idea they have them.
The most significant symptoms of depression to look out for include feelings of hopelessness, sadness, apathy (as it’s relevant to their own interests besides providing care), and lower self-esteem. Depression is not something to take lightly because it is a serious mental health concern that should never be overlooked. It is advocated for caregivers to look for extra assistance to help alleviate symptoms of depression linked to their own situation if they develop.
Anxiety is one of the primary tell-tale signs that a caregiver is becoming overwhelmed by their responsibilities of caring for their loved one. The signs of anxiety usually consist of but are not limited to extreme fatigue, restlessness, tense muscles, and not being able to control feelings of worry. The more prolonged anxiety is not treated, the worse it can become, and the more it can influence a caregiver’s ability to care for their loved one and care for themselves.
Irritability and Impatience
When a caregiver becomes irritable and impatient, it is often directed toward the palliative or hospice patient and other family members. This is a common sign that shows the caregiver is experiencing burnout and should seek additional caregiver support. Typically, this is caused by overwhelming thoughts and a singular focus on helping their loved one, which results in irritability and impatience with others.
When it comes to family members who are on the receiving end of the irritability and impatience from a loved one who acts as a caregiver, it is vital to be understanding and be patient with them, encouraging them to find additional caregiver assistance such as hiring a professional caregiver.
Overeating Or Loss Of Appetite
Many caregivers who are going through burnout and start to feel overwhelmed by their present responsibilities and workload modify their eating habits because of the excess stress. For many caregivers, this factors in eating much more (and binging on more sweets) than they did before.
Some may cope with the stress by eating less and not having much of an appetite. This is a common sign that goes unrecognized. Although a temporary dietary change is not a concern in and of itself, it could be a sign of burnout and a call for additional caregiver assistance if it is present with other signs discussed.
Physical and Emotional Exhaustion
In many instances, the final result for caregivers who experience burnout is total physical and emotional exhaustion to the point where they no longer can provide quality care for their loved ones. In such cases, the person feels as if they must carry on providing care by themselves since there is no one else or because they do not trust other care providers. Reassuring them that it is ok to seek help and helping them understand their options can be highly advantageous in their moment of need.
Withdrawal From Friends And Family Members
Also, a lot of overwhelmed caregivers isolate themselves more from loved ones. Typically, this is because of their feelings of exhaustion and a need for rest when they are not serving as a caregiver. Plus, an increased level of irritability and depression may make them less enthusiastic about spending time with others too.
Faith & Hope Supports Caregivers Who Need Extra Assistance
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with a severe illness or you have opted to no longer go forward with curative treatment and are interested in hospice, Faith & Hope can help. Faith & Hope Hospice and Palliative Care provide hospice care Los Angeles services that are curated to enhance the general quality of life for our patients and their family members as the patient goes through the end-of-life stages. Contact us today or send us a message to find out more about getting started.