Taking your own pulse!
You may have seen prior articles that we have written concerning family assessments of Momma’s ability to continue to function at home alone. Today we’re doing a slight twist of that assessment process This twist is that the person that you will be assessing is you! An honest self assessment is the first step in burnout prevention!
Need for Self-Assessment
In a world where caregiver burnout is a real thing, it is essential for the adult kids who are managing or providing care for their declining parents to not only keep a keen eye on their declining parent – but also to keep a keen eye on themselves. Caregivers often don’t realize how much of a detrimental effect that burnout is having on their lives until the damage is done.
We see so many family caregivers that try to do too much for too long. All of this effort is expended in the name of love for the declining senior in their lives – but it’s often at the expense of their own physical, mental or emotional health. Too many times caregivers overlook the need for a self assessment and it hurts them in the long run.
A Few Self Assessment Guidelines
Observation / 5 Senses. The same powers of observation that you were using when you did your family assessment of Mom or Dad could be used by you to pay closer attention to the areas where you are lagging and need some assistance. We are using a time frame of 6 months ago for comparison purposes, but it could be any time you select. The timeframe is less important than an honest self assessment. For example:
- What do you see in the mirror? Maybe 6 months ago, you and your spouse were going to the gym 3X per week. Additionally you were eating home prepared nutritious meals. Now this is not happening. As a result, you see that you have gained weight and don’t feel nearly as good on a daily basis as you did a few months ago.
- How do you feel? A few months ago maybe you felt healthy and energetic – now, you may feel a substantial decline in your physical or emotional health.
- What do you hear yourself talking about on a daily basis? Compare that to conversations you were having 6 months ago. Any difference? Better or worse?
What was your Overall Assessment or your well-being when looking at your self 6 months ago to today. Granted, this is only your assessment of yourself, but it’s a pretty important one. You may want to ask your spouse or a close friend to do their assessment of you for the same time period to get additional insight.
If you have been serving as a care manager or care provider for your parents during this time, it may be normal for you to expect additional stress. But if after looking at this you may sense there have been substantial physical or emotional changes in your own health. Whether major or minor changes have occurred, it may be time to schedule your own appointment with your own physical or mental health professional.
We are not physical or mental health professionals and the insights we have provided here are only general in nature. Please don’t take action or fail to take action based on what you have read in this or any article. Instead, contact physical or mental health professionals in your community for assistance. Don’t wait until after you have suffered a health event as a result of your care giving assistance. It’s very important for you to take the necessary steps to take care of you! This self assessment is simply a reminder to take care of you!
We want to be friends!
Ok. That might come off a little fast, considering we barely know each other. However, we fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver. Our own experiences have given us great wisdom and insight that has translated into many a caregiver solution! Our personal experiences have fueled our message about the necessity of planning.
In our time as caregivers, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge that we desire to pass on. Likewise, we have met many professional caregivers, as well as other family members who were likewise thrust as Family Caregivers. All caregivers have shared the same advice – Join a community!
We have since created Caregiver Connection. Caregiver Connection is a newsletter that we write personally and send to fellow Caregivers. It is full of tips, tricks, and even professional advice. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.
Thank You for being a Caregiver for Your Loved One – you are making a huge difference in their life!