The challenges and commitments family caregivers face each day could lead to mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. If this is not handled, the exhaustion could cause caregiver burnout. However, burnout can be prevented with help, better scheduling, and time off. Here are some of the things family caregivers can do to prevent burnout.
1. Ask for Help
If you ask for help, you are not a bad caregiver. You are actually a responsible caregiver who realizes he or she cannot do everything independently. When family caregivers ask for assistance from family members and friends, their load may lighten significantly. Asking for help allows you to maintain a professional career and do activities that bring you pleasure. It also prevents you from taking on too much, which could lead to burnout. If family and friends are unable to help out, consider using respite care services on an as-needed basis.
If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Wellesley, Massachusetts, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
2. Understand Your Limits
Caregivers who push themselves too hard can become overwhelmed emotionally, physically, and mentally, resulting in caregiver burnout. However, doing a reality check and determining what is controllable and what is too stressful can help family caregivers understand their limits and prevent burnout.
3. Take a Leave from Work
Sometimes working and being a full-time caregiver can be too much for a person to handle, and the exhaustion can lead to burnout. Family caregivers should consider taking a leave of absence from work or asking to go down to part-time status. Taking a break from work provides some time to create a schedule and delegate caregiving duties to other family members. Once you have a system in place that works, you can return to your job on a full-time basis.
4. Stay Healthy
Following a healthy diet, exercising on a regular basis, and maintaining good sleeping habits are some of the ways family caregivers can stay healthy. You also need to go to the doctor and check on your health. Caregivers who maintain healthy lifestyles can manage the challenges that come with caregiving.
If you are caring for a senior loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver who can help your loved one manage the various challenges of aging. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Wellesley, Massachusetts, home care company. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
5. Be Realistic
Your loved one may experience cognitive decline at a fast rate or fail to recover from an injury or surgical procedure despite the excellent care you are providing. If you set unrealistic goals, you may become overwhelmed, guilty, and stressed when those goals don’t pan out. As a result, you may experience burnout and a variety of emotional issues. However, maintaining realistic goals could prevent this from happening.
6. Take a Break
Taking breaks is necessary, regardless if you are going on vacation or taking some time to catch up on rest. Even if you only take a few hours each day, it will still be enough time to rest, relax, and recharge. You could prevent caregiver burnout and gain a clearer mindset.
7. Join a Support Group
Having a network of people to talk to in confidence is essential for family caregivers. Support groups offer an open line of communication with other people who understand what you are going through. Family caregivers in the group generally share good stories and bad experiences, in addition to tips and strategies to make caregiving easier. You can go to your support group when you feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Discussing your caregiving concerns could help you manage stress and anxiety and prevent burnout.
To protect yourself from burnout you may need additional help. Families who need additional assistance caring for an elderly loved one should consider hiring a professional caregiver. Wellesley, Massachusetts, seniors and their families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality in-home care on an as-needed basis. Our caregivers take pride in helping seniors remain healthy while promoting their quality of life. Call one of our professional Care Managers at (781) 239-0060 to create a care plan for your aging loved one.