Caregiver Burnout: How to Avoid It

The hands of a caregiver.

If you are 1 of the 3 adults in the United States who is an informal caregiver you need to make sure you avoid caregiver burnout. Doing this will help you take care of your loved one fully.

Make Time for You

Our population is getting older and many seniors are being taken care of by by people who aren’t health care professionals. Are you one of them? If so, watch out for caregiver burn out. Try to find even just a few minutes a day for yourself. You can take a short walk, meditate or try some stretching exercises. The aim is to do something that lowers your stress so that you can take care of your loved one.

Get Help

Taking a break when you feel things are too hard is the best thing you can do for yourself and your loved one. Most communities have some type of respite care available. Your local Area Agency on Aging can tell you where to find help.Can a health care aides come to your home? Can you take the person you are caring for to an adult care center or program?  And hospice programs can help terminally ill people and their families. Don’t shy away from accepting help from family, friends and neighbors.

Get Enough Sleep

When you are overworked and tense, you may have trouble falling asleep. this is a common sign or caregiver burnout. Relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing, may help you at bedtime. If your loved one sleeps during the day but is awake much of the night, try to take naps.

Follow a Routine

Having a routine can make your life simpler. A routine helps you feel in control. Consistency is especially important for people with dementia, because it provides a sense of security.

Use a Medical Alert System

Elderly people living at home can use medical alert systems to tell emergency services that they need. Some systems are push-button devices that your loved one can wear around his neck or wrist. He summons help by signaling a call-center operator through a home phone line or mobile phone line. You can install help buttons all over the home. Some systems are motion-sensitive pendants that can detect a fall and place a call for help.

Care Giving from a Distance

If you don’t live close by to your loved one, you may not be exhausted from the demands of constant care, but you’ll still feel worried and anxious. You may also feel guilty about not being closer, not doing enough and not having enough time with the person. You could also be worried about how you’ll be able to take time off from work and be away from your family. Try to be kind to yourself: you are most probably doing the best you can.

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