Carer helps elderly man walk downstairs

If you’re experiencing physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion following long periods of stress from caring for loved one, you may be suffering from caregiver fatigue or burnout. Caregiver fatigue is sometimes also called “vicarious traumatization.”

You may not notice that you’re emotionally fatiguing as a caregiver, as it happens gradually over time. One frequent sign is neglect of your own your own health and well-being.

One helpful article discusses seven deadly emotional signs to watch out for in recognizing caregiver fatigue:[1]

  • (1) Guilt: You may mistakenly think that you’re not doing enough to help your loved one and this can be extremely harmful to your psyche by unnecessarily beating yourself up over unrealistic expectations.
  • (2) Resentment: Caregivers often feel upset because of imagined slights by others, including siblings who are perceived as not doing their part to help. The sickly or elderly person being cared is often the target of caregiving resentment.
  • (3) Anger: Unhealthy amounts of anger has been associated with high blood pressure, heart attack, heart disease, digestive-tract disorders and headaches. When unexpressed, it can even lead to depression, anxiety, or explosive anger.
  • (4) Worry: Excessive worrying can lead to difficulty focusing or even trouble sleeping. Some worry can be perfectly normal, but when it gets to be too much, your role as caregiver may be put to the test.
  • (5) Loneliness: taking on the role as caregiver can be very demanding of your time and your life. This can cause you to unknowingly isolate yourself, lessen your willpower, which could lead to overindulgence and substance abuse problems as well as higher stress levels.
  • (6) Grief: You may be anticipating a loss, which can lead to depression and other health problems. Make sure to make time for yourself outside of your role as caregiver.
  • (7) Defensiveness: You may become very sensitive to criticism when you’re feeling over-stressed and insecure from taking on too much responsibility.

Our firm frequently handles complex probate and estate litigation where the dispute often centers around or stems from caregiver fatigue among family members caring for elderly and sick parents. Caregiver fatigue, when ignored, can often lead to family resentment and other actions that can quickly turn into unlawful conduct subjecting those stricken by caregiver fatigue to both civil and criminal consequences.

Civil Consequences of Caregiver Fatigue

Caregiver fatigue can directly and indirectly lead to all kinds of legal troubles. In your professional capacity, you could be sued for negligence or other civil actions stemming from elder abuse depending on the facts of your case.

The effects of caregiver fatigue could ultimately endanger the elderly or children being care for, who may need constant attention to ensure their well-being.

Criminal Consequences of Caregiver Fatigue

In Connecticut, and in many states, elder abuse is a crime. A caregiver may be found guilty of elder abuse if he or she intentionally, knowingly, recklessly abuses of an elderly, blind, physically disabled, or intellectually disabled person causing serious physical injury to that person.[2]

Contact the Law Offices of Charles Kurmay if You Need an Elder Abuse or Probate Lawyer in Connecticut or New York.

At the Law Offices of Charles Kurmay, our skilled and experienced attorneys routinely assist clients in probate matters, which range from regular estate administration to very complex probate litigation.  We regularly litigate in the Probate and Superior Courts in Connecticut as their jurisdiction frequently overlaps and the Supreme Court in New York as well.  We help clients plan their estates, drafting wills and trusts while helping with tax and Medicaid planning to protect the wealth hard working people have earned over the course of their lives and to help prevent the disaster that we are discussing here.

With offices located in New York City, South Norwalk, and León Spain, we truly are a local firm with a global reach.

Our Fairfield County office proudly services your legal needs in Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newtown, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.

We also proudly service New Haven County for all you legal needs in Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Naugatuck, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Seymour, Southbury, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Wolcott, and Woodbridge.

Our New York City office proudly services all 5 boroughs, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.

If this or anything similar has happened to you, please call us at 203-666-5457. We are available to talk anytime.

[1] http://www.nextavenue.org/the-7-deadly-emotions-of-caregiving/

[2] http://www.jud.ct.gov/JI/criminal/part6/6.9-1.htm

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