Most caregivers will experience a variety of feelings such as being tired, irritated, angry, or sad at any given time. Even more prominent, feelings of being overwhelmed or constantly worried about your loved one begins to affect your life personally. Whether you are alone in your care, or have a family to lean on, iAccompany can help ease the stress.
Do you know the signs and symptoms of caregiver stress? Many studies have concluded that more serious physical and mental issues can develop if you are under a lot of pressure when it comes to caring for a loved one.
Below are some of the most common symptoms of caregiver stress/burnout:
Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are common signs of caregiver burnout. Whether you try to or not, you are often thinking about your loved one and worrying about them. Over time you may feel guilty when you can’t always be there to help and a lot of that pressure falls in your lap. Sudden mood swings are prominent as your mind is often in a different place.
Weight Loss or Gain
A common symptom of caregiver burnout is weight loss or gain. When we slack on taking care of ourselves, our weight usually takes the hit. Whether you start to miss classes at the gym, or stop going to the gym altogether, your weight is often affected by the stress you are taking on in other areas. Not having that time to exercise and release endorphins can also contribute to depression and anxiety.
Weakened Immune System
When your mind and body experience burnout they become exhausted. Everyday functions become more difficult and your body is producing less energy. Oftentimes this leans to a weakened immune system and being sick or catching a cold is more likely. Common colds are more draining as you don’t have the energy to fight it off like you once would.
Problems with Short-Term Memory
“Caregiver dementia” is a term that was coined in the 1980’s and represented stressed out caregivers worldwide. Forgetfulness, depression, shortened attention span, and disorientation were all signs of caregiver dementia. From a medical standpoint, stressful conditions produce high levels of cortisol, which is your body’s main stress hormone that is strongly linked to cognitive function and memory loss.
Higher Risk for Chronic Disease
Oftentimes when providing care for others we forget or neglect our own health needs. Caregivers are at a higher risk for developing cardiovascular issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and higher cholesterol levels. Having less time to schedule their own appointments, or pick-up prescriptions can lead to even more personal health issues. A study done by the CDC found that 40.7% of caregivers report having two or more chronic diseases themselves.
When taking care of a loved one, our physical health is often pushed aside. This can cause bigger problems down the road, and self-care should always be a priority.
At iAccompany, we understand what you are going through because we have been there ourselves. Our founders, Jeff Reitberger, Byrnes Benoit, and Doug Stoyko, have all been in your shoes. They tried to balance caring for their elder parents with their career, family time, and extracurriculars to the point where it all became too much. As they realized they were facing the same challenge, the trio decided to create a service that would ease the load.
We know you can’t always be there to accompany your loved one to appointments, or sit in and discuss action plans with the doctor. Whether it is a geographical issue, or a time issue, we can help.
Our service provides a nursing professional who accompanies your loved one to and from their appointment. When it is time to meet with the doctor, they will sit with the doctor and patient and take thorough notes on what is discussed. Following the appointment, they will accompany your loved one to pick up prescriptions or for further lab work before bringing them safely home. When the visit is over, our nursing professional will send you a secure link to a full report of what was discussed at the appointment. This report provides the clarity we all need to best look after the health of our loved ones.
The iAccompany process puts you in the room when you cannot be there. With our user-friendly website and app, you can stay connected even while your loved one is travelling to their appointment.
If you are experiencing the stress and pressure that many caregivers experience, visit our page www.iaccompanytelemedicine.carrd.co and see if you qualify to try our service for free.
There is more to caregiving than just surviving. Make it a better experience for you and your family with iAccompany.