When considering the best plan of care for yourself or for your elderly loved one, there are many different options to weigh. It’s important to select a service that meets your needs and to understand what you can expect. Doing so can help ease many worries and anxieties often associated with long term care.
PrimRose Home Care and Hospice is here to make the process as pleasant and stress-free as possible for both you and your loved ones. Our team can help you every step of the way. Let’s start by determining the key difference between home health care and hospice care.
Comparing Home Health Care And Hospice Care
Both home health care and hospice care are beneficial to help avoid or reduce the need for hospitalization and allow patients to enjoy care from the comfort of their own home. Here is where these two services differ.
Hospice care provides comfort to care and manage symptoms as a disease or illness runs its course, while the core purpose of home health care as therapy or treatment is a comparatively short-term solution to help restore independence in the long-term.
Home health care is given intermittently and includes services like nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology and prescribed by a doctor. The patient’s progress is monitored and documented.
On any given day, approximately 40 million Americans provide unpaid care to elderly family members or friends. This wonderful, selfless act shows just how much these family caregivers love the older people in their lives – but this also puts them at high risk of caregiver burnout. Providing care, particularly long-term care, can be extremely stressful and emotionally demanding. Worse, this stress can slowly build up over time until the caregiver is near a “boiling point,” and could suffer caregiver burnout.
Anyone who takes on a caregiver role for older adults should maintain awareness of their own mental, emotional, and physical health. In situations where one is providing home care for a loved one, a caregiver can feel overwhelmed. If caregivers do experience burn out, new problems will arise for both them and the person in their care.
Caregivers should know the signs of caregiver stress and burnout, as well as how to address them.
The Symptoms of Caregiver Stress and Burnout
True caregiver burnout usually takes a long time to develop. Initially, the problem manifests in much the same way as other forms of stress. These symptoms include:
- Anxiety or irritability
- Lack of concentration
- Feelings of resentment
- Increased smoking, drinking, or other drug use
- Constant feelings of tiredness
- Overreacting to minor problems
- Cutting back, or being uninterested in, leisure activities
These are all warning signs of caregiver stress and burnout. In this situation, the caregiver should seek help for physical and mental health, or support for their caregiving responsibilities. If these signs of caregiver burnout are ignored, and burnout occurs, the caregiver’s health problems become significantly worse:
- Chronic depression, particularly feelings of hopelessness
- Constant illness or other health issues
- Inability to relax, even given the opportunity
- Feelings of anger and resentment towards the one being cared for
- No feeling of satisfaction from caregiving
- Constant feelings of exhaustion which one is unable to alleviate
- Neglecting one’s own bodily needs, such as going without food
The longer the situation persists, the direr the situation becomes. Caregiver burnout can impact a caregiver’s ability to provide good care to seniors.
Seeking Relief from Caregiver Stress or Burnout
A healthy caregiver is a happy and effective caregiver! Caregivers should always know when to seek help and relief when they notice signs of burnout. Below are a few methods on how to avoid caregiver burnout, both in the short-term and long-term.
1. Have people to talk to. Caregivers can find support in their family and friends. A caregiver needs confidants they can relax with to relieve stress.
2. Celebrate the small victories. Caregivers can avoid focusing on the negative by instead celebrating minor victories.
3. Be more accepting. Caregivers can easily fall into a trap of asking “why” they are in the situation or becoming angry at their circumstances. Such anger changes nothing; acceptance is a more positive approach.
4. Seek help. The burdens on a caregiver tend to increase over time, which adds to their stress. Be willing to ask friends or other family members to pitch in!
PrimRose Home Care Is Here for You
We focus on providing compassionate, personalized in-home care that maintains your loved ones’ lifestyle as much as possible. Our mission is to make your life easier and provide your loved ones with high-quality care services. Call us for consultation to determine if full-time or part-time care could benefit you and reduce your risk of caregiver burnout.