I talk a lot about being a caregiver and working to balance the needs of those who need us and what we need to stay healthy in body, mind and soul. But I don’t often talk about being able to see if someone around you is weary and physically worn from being a caregiver.
If we are not a caregiver at the moment we have friends who are caring for a spouse, or a parent. Most caregivers put up a good front. Many are highly organized, energetic and it might be hard to spot a caregiver that is in pain either physically, emotionally or spiritually.
Caregivers work hard not only to provide the best care possible for their loved ones but to put forth a smile on their face or what I call a mask that an actor puts on along with an “It’s show-time” attitude! Can you spot the signs?
Some of the signs of caregiver burnout are:
- Refusing help or need for assistance
- Isolating themselves from anyone and anything that takes them away from caring for their loved one.
- Are they prone to protesting or drifting off or not wanting to be present?
- Do you see signs of stress impact on their physical being? Pain, stomach upsets, extreme fatigue are just a few.
- The caregiver may share feelings of resentment that the world is going on around them, guilt that have these feelings or that they aren’t doing enough. There may feel angry, frustrated with sudden outbursts towards people other than the care-receiver or even the care-receiver.
What can you as a friend or family member do to help?
- Watch for these symptoms to occur. These are normal emotions.
- Remain nearby (no matter how much they may push you away) so that when they are ready for help you are present.
- We are called to carry each other’s burdens (Galations 6:2). Offer to sit with the care-receiver, even for an hour, to provide the caregiver with some “down time”.
- Offer to run errands, walk their dog, feed their cat, babysit their children.
- Make a meal and deliver it to them. Check out this great website for ideas and assistance. https://takethemameal.com/
- Don’t take their anger and frustration personally. Continue to show concern, care and love.
- Pray for them. Share God’s love with them. Oswald Chambers, author and evangelist is quoted as saying “Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God.” The caregiver can draw strength in knowing that God is ever present and his strength and peace can sustain us through the darkest of days.
Take time to look around you for a caregiver that might need a little help. While caregivers will try to hide their weariness, take the time to show God’s love through care and concern. …clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other…Colossians 3:12-13
A simple act of caring can lift the caregiver’s spirit and make all the difference in getting through their day. God did not mean for us to be islands onto ourselves but to build bridges to one another and be the face of God.
Thank you for reading my post. If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it. Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!
I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts. To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com
Blessings for Health & Wellness.