There’s no doubt that being a caregiver is a fulfilling and rewarding experience for many people, but it is also difficult, overwhelming, and stressful.
In fact, according to a report put out by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, one-third of people who are family caregivers report feeling “highly stressed.” This can lead to caregiver burnout, a situation in which a person feels emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted because of the stress they are under as a caregiver.
All caregivers can be subject to burnout, so even if you’re feeling okay today, it’s important to take steps to prevent caregiver burnout. Below are 5 ways to stop the problem before it starts.
#1: Spend Time with Positive People
Even when your time is short, it’s important to continue spending time with other family members and friends. It’s especially important to be around people who are uplifting and positive instead of those who tend to bring you down. It can be particularly helpful to be with a person who is a good listener and with whom you’re comfortable discussing your feelings.
#2: Don’t Neglect Your Health
Many caregivers find their own health failing because they don’t take care of themselves. They are so busy caring for someone else that they neglect regular health appointments, balanced meals, and exercise. When you don’t feel well, you’re more likely to feel stressed and like your life is out of control. Make sure you continue to see your doctor and go to the dentist. If you have a health condition, follow your doctor’s advice and manage it. Take your medications, change the way you eat, and get some exercise. You are important and deserve care, too.
#3: Find a Support Group
Many caregivers find support groups to be extremely helpful. A support group for caregivers gives you a place to talk about what you’re experiencing and how you’re feeling. You don’t have to worry about being judged when you talk about the negatives of caregiving. You’re among people who have also had bad days. If they hadn’t, they would not be there!
#4: Learn How to Say No
As busy as you are, do you find yourself having difficulty saying no when someone asks you to do something? Lots of people do. However, you need to know your limitations and when you cannot take on any more. Make a list of what you need to do in a day, then consider what you can realistically get done. If there’s more than you can handle, ask others to take on some tasks for you. And, for goodness sake, don’t agree to take on more!
#5: Consider Home Care
Home care is an easy and affordable way to give yourself more time and reduce stress. Home care providers can take care of many of the tasks you would otherwise have to do, such as taking your aging relative grocery shopping or driving them to church. Home care providers can also just spend time with the senior while you’re out with friends, at your own medical appointment, or simply taking a well-earned nap.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder care in Orinda, CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203
At Aviva, we also use the latest in health technology to maximize opportunities for communication between all members of our client’s care circles. We utilize nursing oversight to ensure that we are in compliance with physician orders, and that our careplans are being properly administered. Lastly, Aviva is a proud member of The Senior’s Choice, a national network of leading home care agencies that share best practices and focus on continual improvement.
As owner of the business, I also promise to you my direct involvement in your loved ones care, and will always make myself available for feedback and improvements in our service. I look forward to working with you and your loved one on creating a care plan that is perfectly suited to the family's needs. Thank you for considering Aviva as your care partner.
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