Does being a family caregiver seem like it’s gotten increasingly harder for you?
Maybe you often feel tired, you worry constantly, or you just feel sad and overwhelmed. If so, you could be suffering from caregiver burnout. It’s a common problem for family caregivers because of the physical and emotional strain of the role. Even if you’re a brand-new caregiver and don’t currently show any of the signs, knowing what to be on the lookout for and what to do to avoid caregiver burnout can help you to stay healthy and keep you on top of your caregiver game.
Signs of Caregiver Burnout
Caregiver burnout can be caused by many aspects of being a caregiver. You may not get enough sleep at night because you’re packing too much into a day or spending the nights lying awake worrying about your aging relative. Or, you may not be taking the time to exercise and eat balanced meals, compromising your own health.
Whatever the cause, some of the signs that indicate you’re suffering from caregiver stress are:
- Changes in sleep patterns, such as sleeping too much or not getting enough sleep.
- Worrying all the time.
- Feeling overwhelmed.
- Being sad.
- Turning to drugs or alcohol to feel better.
- Changes in weight, either gaining or losing weight.
- Physical symptoms, like headaches and body aches.
- Getting irritated or angry easily.
Tips for Avoiding Caregiver Burnout
Avoiding caregiver burnout is all about self-care and organization. Remember that you are important, and you deserve to be healthy and happy, too. Taking better care of yourself will also make you a more effective caregiver. Some ways you can avoid being a victim of caregiver burnout are:
Say “Yes” to Help: Often caregivers turn down offers of help, believing they have to or should be able to do everything themselves. However, accepting help is one of the best ways you can ensure you don’t get burned out. If someone asks what they can do, tell them what you could use help with. Even something as simple as preparing a meal for you or the older adult can give you 30 minutes or more to yourself.
Stay Organized: Do your best to keep all of your caregiver duties organized. Use planners, either physical or online calendars, to keep track of appointments. Write to-do lists. Create a folder that includes important paperwork and information about your loved one. Use email to provide family members with updates on the senior’s health instead of making individual phone calls.
Join a Support Group: Everyone needs to vent their frustrations sometimes. However, you might feel guilty about doing that with friends or family members because you worry it makes you look like a bad caregiver or that they simply don’t want to hear it. A caregiver support group is a safe place for you to say how you’re feeling and be reassured that you are not alone.
If you’re struggling with being a family caregiver, home care can help to relieve some of the burdens. Home care agencies can assist you with matching your older family member’s needs to an experienced home care provider. Home care providers offer non-medical services, including cooking meals, medication reminders, light house cleaning, companionship, assistance with daily activities, and much more.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Auburn, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties! Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423
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