Taking on the role of caregiver is a major responsibility under any circumstances, and it comes with serious risks as well as rewards.
As you deal with your emotions, and the daily challenges, remember it is important to take care of yourself to avoid burnout.
Noticing signs of caregiver burnout and stress
In the last few months, as you handled the caregiving role, you may have felt constantly on the go. Helping get your loved one to doctor appointments, handling in-home therapy and medication, and generally helping him or her with daily needs may have taken up all of your time. You may have even had to take time off of work in order to be there for your loved one as much as possible.
Though you know improvements from this point on will likely be minimal and that he or she will need continued care, you are already feeling the strain of constant caregiving, which can include symptoms such as:
- Headaches, body aches or stomach aches
- Forgetting to eat or drink water
- Not socializing with friends or other family
- Lack of alone time
- Not having any downtime to relax
You may also face stress over accumulating medical bills, a lack of income from your loved one who can no longer work, and from your taking time off, guilt over whether you are doing a good job and worries about the future. In times like these, it is important to remember that you are not alone.
Seeking help and compensation
If another driver caused a car accident that led to a traumatic brain injury or other serious injury to your loved one, you may have reason to file a personal injury claim against that driver. Discussing this option with an attorney may help you understand whether you can file a lawsuit on your loved one’s behalf and what damages you may be able to pursue. A successful claim could allow your family to obtain compensation that could cover medical bills, lost income and hired help, which could alleviate some of your stress.