Taking care of a loved one who has recently come out of the hospital is a noble thing to do, but it requires tremendous sacrifice. If your loved one needs care for several weeks or even months, you may find yourself going through something called caregiver burnout. This isn't something to be ashamed of or to feel guilty over. Instead, you should focus on getting help and taking care of yourself. Here's what you could end up facing if you try to take it all on alone.
One of the first problems you're likely to have caring for a loved one out of the hospital is pure exhaustion. Looking after yourself, a family, chores, a job, and someone who needs care will be exhausting, without a doubt. You may find your sleep becoming interrupted due to your loved one's needs. Worse still, being exhausted weakens your immune system, so you could end up becoming ill yourself. And unfortunately, your loved one's needs can't take a day off, so you may end up working through the illness and potentially even getting your loved one sick. This is obviously bad for both of you and is something that should be avoided at all costs.
Another problem that people who are suddenly made caregivers of their loved ones often go through is resentment. It doesn't mean that you don't love them, and it doesn't mean that you don't care. But caring for another human being around the clock will get in the way of your life. It will mean canceling things you want or need to do, giving up valuable personal time, and possibly even taking leave from work. All of these things can stress you out and make you feel resentful or downright angry.
Unfortunately, these feelings can do one of two things. You may end up being angry and snappish towards your loved one, or you could end up becoming somewhat neglectful of them simply because you're burned out. They don't deserve either of these things.
What to Do
It's better to prevent these situations from happening at all, but even if you're already knee-deep in caregiver burnout, you can still get help. It's time to reevaluate the situation and hire an in-home nursing caregiver.
Nursing caregivers have the training, expertise, and patience that comes with years' worth of experience. They'll be able to meet your loved one's needs and can do more than you can by having the knowledge and access to equipment to do things like keeping an eye on their vitals. This will not only leave you with all the time and rest that you need but will also help to assure you that your loved one has help if something goes wrong.
Don't put yourself through the stress and anguish that can come with being the sole caregiver for someone who is freshly out of the hospital. Get help from a professional instead.