Top Tips for Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

by Paradise Living Center

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Caregivers tasked with ensuring the vitality of their ailing or elderly charges are arguably some of the most selfless people around. The responsibilities they take on can become daunting – and the extra work it takes in maintaining the health and safety of another person can certainly take an emotional and psychological toll on an individual.

For preservation it’s incredibly important that anyone who serves as a caregiver to a senior takes the necessary steps to create boundaries, and safeguard their sense of personal self worth.

According to Becky Feola, author of The Eldercare Consultant, signs of caregiver burnout include “feeling resentful, thinking it is hopeless or that you are helpless, [and] losing emotional control and overreacting.”

Feola goes on to note that one of the most heartbreaking aspects of eldercare burnout is that a caregiver who was once “positive and caring” can very quickly become “negative and uncaring” due to a “dramatic change of attitude.”

Understandably, the signs are reminiscent of anyone dealing with a lot of stress, and as such, the remedies are also very similar.

If you’re worried about caregiver burnout, consider the following steps for self-care:

  1. Take advantage of further support – Just because you happen to be the senior’s first line of care, doesn’t mean you must be the only one. Utilize other helpful resources to give yourself a break. Enlisting the support of the elder’s other friends and family when you need personal time is a great way to take a step back without having to worry about the elder’s wellbeing. If you’re feeling alone in your struggle, various organizations exist that provide resources and advocate for caregivers, like CareFlash and Family Caregiver Alliance. Also, there may be assisted care or group homes in your area that offer respite care, so you can get away for a few days.
  2. Know your own capabilities – Making sense of the newfound responsibilities you encounter when caring for a loved one can be difficult, but it’s important that one doesn’t lose sight of their own responsibilities and commitments. Oftentimes, caregivers bite off more than they can chew and become embroiled in a burnout further down the line. If an individual plans ahead, recognizes their own strengths, takes inventory of personal commitments, and learns when they need to draw the line, chances of burnout are far less likely.
  3. Don’t be afraid of validation – While many don’t choose to become caregivers, it’s important they learn to receive some level of credit. The job they’re performing deserves Not only are you keeping another person safe, you’re doing so while also maintaining your own livelihood.

If you’re concerned about the feasibility of providing long-term care or you are caring for a loved one and may be in need of respite care, give Paradise Living Centers a visit.