People who care for loved ones perform a special duty. Children help parents who once raised them. Spouses honor their marriage vows to take care of their partners in health and sickness. It is important that family caregivers take care of themselves and avoid burnout. A person who burns out will no longer be as effective.
The onset of burnout is one good reason to call a Chevy Chase home care agency. People should recognize the signs of burnout early and ask for help before symptoms become serious.
Burnout consists of physical and emotional exhaustion after a prolonged caregiving burden. Caregivers may find themselves irritable, withdrawn, and depressed. Over time, the quality of your care declines. In extreme cases, caregivers could take out their frustrations on their loved ones, causing harm.
Burnout Prevention Tips
Regular use of self-care strategies helps to manage the stress of caregiving. Some ideas include:
- Take regular breaks. Contract with home health agencies to cover care for a short period each week. In addition, take longer vacations of several days at least once a year.
- Begin a meditation practice. Meditate for ten minutes at a time when you start to feel stressed. This sort of break can be taken in the middle of the caregiving shift, within earshot of your loved one.
- Go to support groups. It helps to share feelings and experiences with people who are going through similar challenges.
- Take care of your health. Visit your doctor, take your prescribed medications, eat well, and exercise regularly.
- Make a list of easy pampering activities and consult this list frequently to choose a brief diversion. Perhaps you enjoy bubble baths, listening to music, reading a book.
- Contact out the social services agency in your area. Often, they have advisors that can help your loved one access transportation and food assistance.
It is important to recognize and address caregiver burnout as part of the overall care plan.