Avoiding Burnout Is Essential To A Family Caregiver
Family caregivers fulfill a vital role in the health care of a loved one. Those who you care for count on you to manage their medication regimen, health care treatments, as well as dietary and exercise plans. Caregivers have the unenviable task of balancing the needs of those they are caring for with their own personal needs. The majority of family caregivers exhibit some signs of caregiver burnout.
The following is a list of the tell-tale signs of caregiver burnout. We recommend you keep a close watch for one or more of these important signs and take action.
The Signs of Burnout
- Feeling pessimistic and dissatisfied
- Decreased energy or emotional exhaustion
- Withdrawing from friends or social interactions
- Loss of interest in work or enjoyable activities
- Increased use of alcohol or medication to relax
- Becoming impatient, irritable, or argumentative
- Lowered resistance to illness
Find a caregiver support group. Call your local senior centre, hospital senior services, physician or church. If you can’t leave the house, search the Internet for support groups.
Set reasonable limits – You can’t be a successful caregiver if you give until there is nothing left. Be realistic about how much time and energy you can devote to providing care. Prioritize tasks so that you have a manageable load of activities to manage.
Take care of your own health – You owe it to yourself to make time for your own heath. Take a walk or do some form of regular exercise at least 20 minutes a day. Eat a variety of foods; blueberries, dark chocolate, fish, nuts, eggs, vegetables and flax seed.
Do things you enjoy on a daily basis – Listen to music, garden, cook, go see a movie, or just walk the dog. Think about activities you’ve done in the past that you found enjoyable and make time for them now.
Start a journal – Writing is a great way to express emotion and regain perspective. Caregivers often have conflicting emotions. Write down what you feel and accept the good and the bad.
We are happy to provide you with more information. We provide a free in-home consultation with a professional Care Manager. Call CalaCare at 1-888-774-CALA (2252).