Handling Caregiver Burnout
This upcoming November is National Family Caregiver month and it’s all about showing appreciation to those who take care of the ones we love. Because of this, we want to make sure caregivers understand burnout and how to help remedy the issues associated with it. Here are some of the signs to watch out for and ways to help alleviate the stress.
- Mood changes: A caregiver enduring burnout may experience sudden changes in mood and behavior. For instance, he or she may be happy one minute, frustrated the next, and then sad all of a sudden. This is because plenty of emotions strike at once, causing the feeling of being overwhelmed. Caregivers should take some time to relax and reset, and know it’s okay to seek help.
- Illnesses: When someone is stressed or tired, it can harm the body’s immune system, leaving it susceptible to any and all bugs and illnesses. Making regular checkups a priority and keeping appointments is important. Even though caregivers take care of someone else, it is still important for them to take the utmost care of themselves as well.
- They feel they are the only one doing things: Taking care of someone is difficult and often requires a bit of support. When a caregiver feels like they don’t have that, he or she may start feeling anxious and the weight of the tasks start to make it less exciting. The caregiver should have a network of other people to call on to help them remain calm and focused.
- They don’t have time for much else: Perhaps the caregiver wants to go out with friends or spend some time with family, but he or she keeps putting it off because they “don’t have time.” Caregivers need to take the time to get some relaxation and quality time in with other people. It can restore mindset, reduce stress, and focus on their needs.
To help prevent going through caregiver burnout, we suggest having someone to talk to about feelings, set realistic goals and be okay with accepting help, knowing limits, and make sure to take care of themselves. At the end of the day, despite wanting to do everything, if a caretaker is not healthy and feels like they are burned out, they may not be much help to the person for whom they are supposed to care.
At Home Healthcare recognizes the many struggles that caregivers can endure and we want to make sure our staff feels appreciated, supported, and positive. This reflects on their care of our patients.
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