With an aging population, many of us are finding ourselves in caregiving roles for loved ones. Many times, these roles are filled by spouses and/or adult children and these responsibilities can come on suddenly. It is important that family caregivers remember to care for themselves to avoid getting burnt out. Below, please find some ideas on how to prevent caregiver burnout.
Everyone needs a break sometimes:
As a family caregiver, it is important to set some regular time to relax in order to be an effective caregiver for the long run. Asking friends or family members to assist is a good way to take a break from the stresses of caregiving. You may also want to consider calling a professional caregiving agency to assist. A Homemade Plan offers respite care services which allow you to take breaks as needed with the peace of mind that your loved one is being cared for. We have families who use our respite service for a week or two while they are on vacation, periodically as needed, or by having an on-going schedule to give breaks on a more regular basis.
Having a support group is another helpful way to reduce stress. Having an individual or group of people who you can talk to about some of the problems you face can be extremely helpful. This support can come from family or friends, or by joining an organized group of people who are facing the same issues. More information about organized support groups can be found at your local Area Agencies on Aging or by reach out to specific organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association.
Need ideas of ways to reduce stress? Below, please find a few activities to help reduce stress.
Deep breathing exercises
Going to lunch or dinner with friends
Going to the movies
Exercise including walking or yoga
Our final suggestion is to anyone who knows of someone that is a family caregiver, please reach out to them. Keep in regular contact to ask them how they are doing, talk to them about their struggles, suggest ways they can reduce stress, and if possible give them a break a few times a week.