Caregiver Stress Syndrome: When Caregiving Takes Its Toll

We owe a lot to the ones that raised us. When it comes time in their life when they need help with basic needs, shopping, cleaning, driving, etc. The children or other such younger folks take it upon themselves to return care. 

This is an incredibly loving and honorable gesture, and we often think it’s the “least we can do,” but unfortunately the world has become busier and busier, and balancing personal life and obligations along with caregiving for loved ones can take a nasty toll.  


Identifying Caregiver Stress Syndrome

We’ve likely witnessed or experienced Caregiver Stress Syndrome already, often without seeking help. Caregiver Stress Syndrome is characterized by exhaustion, physical, mental, and emotional, resulting from neglecting one’s own well-being to focus on caregiving.

This stress is strongly associated with negative health outcomes, including high rates of depression and anxiety, anger, chronic stress, and compromised immune systems as a result. 

When caring for a loved one, there are varying levels of care, but all can equally have a negative impact on the caregiver. Oftentimes, the more critical the condition of the loved one yields more intense levels of attention needed. 

Losing sleep, putting off important work and personal obligations, and deprioritizing self enjoyment leads to burnout quickly. Too many believe they can handle the care all on their own, again out of a sense of obligation for their loved one, but seeking help and boundary setting is crucial in avoiding this unnecessary stress.  


Better Understanding The Risks Of Caregiver Stress Syndrome 

It’s particularly telling that mental health problems are consistently higher in caregivers than non-caregiving peers. This becomes more apparent when the caregiving is tied to an individual with cognitive decline.

Many caregivers have trouble sleeping, and are still exhausted upon waking. They notice their physical health taking a dip, and have reported experiencing higher rates of heart issues, arthritis, and eating disorders. Feelings of hopelessness, irritability, and social withdrawal are also common in those dealing with Caregiver Stress Syndrome. 

Regardless of how much you feel you owe it to your loved one to take care of them in their advanced age or in cognitive decline, know that there are support systems, and professional caregiving options to help both the loved one and yourself.  


How To Address Burnout, Find The Best Support

There are many options available to help you find your peace again. Sometimes relying on a support system can help alleviate some immediate concerns of burnout. Other times though, it’s likely time to look into long term accommodations.

Looking to friends and family to help lighten the load can have great success, Also consider utilizing time-saving tools, such as food prep and delivery services to put time directly back into care or even personal time. 

But ultimately, you may need to look deeper and come to the realization that you can’t do this on your own anymore, and that’s ok! You know better than anyone that you’ve given your complete care and heart to the people that are in need of that support. Now you just need to ensure the people that take the reigns from here are going to provide the same level of caregiving.   


Caregiving At The Fountains Is Unmatched  

You can sense the love, community, and appreciation of every soul as soon as you walk through the doors of The Fountains of West County. Our residents know each other and every staff member by name, because we provide care that goes beyond the “gruntwork” of it all. 

The Fountains is an extension of the love and care that each resident’s family has provided them up until this point. This issue touches us on a personal level, and we want to ensure that every resident feels taken care of and comfortable the whole time with us.

We provide unrivaled caregiving and amenities for our residents, because as soon as they walk into those doors, they are family. Put your loved one’s needs in the greatest care, while also giving you peace of mind and your time back. 

To learn more or schedule a tour of our beautiful facilities, give us a call: 636-779-2600