Avoid Caregiver Burnout

How do I Avoid Caregiver Burnout?

Are you caring for a loved one and have not been able to have any downtime due to COVID-19?

Well, you’re not alone, millions of people are suffering with caregiver burnout. It has only increased since the arrival of COVID as no one can go anywhere, so there’s no release from your 24 hour job.

Caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, dementia, or any illness can be overwhelming on you and your family. Not only do you have to care for them, but you have to care for your family, your household, your job, but where do you find the time to care for yourself? It’s no wonder caregiver burnout happens to so many people. You MUST take time for yourself!!

Let’s first discuss some causes of burnout:

  • Demand on you and your time: the caregiver has to learn how to juggle, caring for the loved one while working a job, taking care of a household, and raising a family. Those who have never been in your position won’t understand. Support groups will understand, find one in your area or online.
  • Lack of control you may feel you have: you may feel you lack the skills needed to properly care for your loved one. You may also feel you lack the control over the money and resources needed.
  • Unreasonable demands: other family members and the one being cared for, have tendencies to place unreasonable demands on the caregivers. They do not do this purposely, they just don’t understand the demand on your time. Support groups will understand, find one in your area or online.
  •  Confusion over your role: if you are caring for your parents or spouse, it may be difficult to separate your role from child or spouse to caregiver.
  • No privacy: caregiving leaves little time to be alone, so you may feel you have no privacy whatsoever. Caregiving is a 24/7 job and will take its toll on you, that’s why it’s extremely important to find some down time.
  • Expectations placed on you: your loved one and family members place expectations on you that are more than likely way off base. Let your family know you cannot do it alone and their support will help you immensely.

Should you feel yourself becoming agitated at your loved one, please seek help!!!

There are support groups out there, the internet is a valuable resource to find what you’re looking for. PLEASE use it!!!

What are some warning signs of caregiver burnout:

Each individual is unique, so the warning signs can vary, but here are some of the common signs. Again, if you notice yourself having any of these signs, PLEASE seek help!!

Anger, frustration, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, denial about your loved one’s condition, more susceptible to colds/flu, can’t concentrate, irritability, trouble sleeping, moodiness, and not interested in social activities.

Finally, here are some tips to avoid caregiver burnout:

Tips on How to avoid caregiver burnout

  1. Join a support group: this is extremely important!! You can gain so much insight from others going through the same scenario you are and the support they provide is amazing!!! These groups can lift your spirits and help should you have a problem you need to work through, someone may have had the same problem and already have the solution. Assisted Living Made Simple holds three (3) of these groups a month! We are here for you!!!!
  2. Look to the internet: there are so many resources for help. The Alzheimer’s Association has a wealth of information on their site at www.alz.org. The AARP website is another great resource for help, they’re at www.aarp.org. There are also local Council on Aging’s who may be able to direct you to some resources.
  3. Take care of YOUR health: make sure you get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water. Try to eat healthier and make regular doctor visits. Talk to your doctor about any caregiver concerns or issues you may have.
  4. Take a break: try to find someone to fill in for you, even if only for an hour so you can take a walk, watch a movie, or go for a bike ride. If you need more structured care, look for a respite program. Some communities have put them on hold due to COVID-19, but let’s hope they come back real soon.

If you are a caregiver and feel like you are burning out, PLEASE seek help immediately!! I cannot stress this enough!!

Sometimes even a phone call to a friend for a few minutes can help.

Again, Assisted Living Made Simple holds three (3) caregiver support groups a month to support one of our most valuable resources, YOU!!!!

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