WebMD defines caregiver burnout as “a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude — from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don’t get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able — either physically or financially. Caregivers who are ‘burned out’ may experience fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression. Many caregivers also feel guilty if they spend time on themselves rather than on their ill or elderly loved ones.” Does this sound familiar?
In 2013, Health in Aging reported that approximately 43.5 million Americans care for older parents, grandparents, spouses and other older loved ones. Caregivers who do not have much help or their senior loved one requires full-time care are at a high risk for experiencing depression, fatigue and stress.
If you are a caregiver, burnout is a serious concern. What can you do about it? Select Home Care Pasadena has some suggestions that can help caregivers prevent and/or get through a burnout phase.
- Communicate. Don’t keep your frustration and feelings to yourself. Talk to another family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbor. Just getting it “off your chest” can be beneficial.
- Take care of you. Make time for yourself, even if just for an hour or two. Rest, exercise, do your own chores, visit with a friend, whatever you need to refuel yourself. Try to eat healthy.
- Ask for help. Whether you need a friend or family member to drive your loved one to an appointment, or if you need a professional caregiver to come in for a few hours or a couple days a week, it’s ok to ask! Know your own limits and ask for help.
- Consider technology. There are many technology solutions for senior care, ranging from wander prevention to emergency response to remote monitoring. These can give you peace of mind when you are not with your loved one.
- Call a professional. If your caregiving situation has grown to a point that you are unable to do it, call a home care provider in your area. Most offer a free in-home consultation and can make helpful recommendations for your situation.
In sum, there is no denying that being a caregiver can be exhausting and all-consuming. However, recognizing the signs of caregiver burnout and dealing with them before it becomes overwhelming is key.
Select Home Care Pasadena provides home care to seniors in Pasadena, Arcadia, San Gabriel Valley and the surrounding areas. We offer a free in-home consultation and can help you determine what is best for you and your senior loved one. Call 626-799-4855 to schedule a consultation.