Tips for Handling Caregiver Burnout

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Caregiver burnout happens when people try to do too much. Your desire to serve your aging loved one is admirable, but you could be setting yourself up for failure if you don’t take time out to care for yourself. The symptoms of caregiver burnout include exhaustion. You might also get physically sick more often or start lashing out at others. If you feel yourself dreading each new day, it’s time to start waking up refreshed and excited about spending time with your loved one. Taking these actions may restore your mental health and make caregiving enjoyable again.

Try to Get More Sleep

Having difficulty falling or staying asleep is a serious sign of stress. Your current caregiving duties might also include having to wake up throughout the night to check on your loved one or help him or her to the bathroom. If you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, this may contribute to your feelings of burnout. Asking for someone to help with overnight care is one way to get more sleep. You might also need to enhance your sleep hygiene by avoiding electronics for an hour or two before bedtime. Room-darkening shades may also help you get more sleep if your bedroom is near a major outdoor light source.

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if you’re feeling burned out. Home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers may help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Check on Your Physical Health

Being physically run down makes it harder to handle stress. Taking your loved one to medical appointments might cut into your time to go for your annual physical or stay on track with your dental exams. You may also be skimping on exercise or eating more unhealthy foods. Planning for more time to take care of your physical needs gives you additional energy for handling your loved one’s care. Even if you just go for a short walk each day, doing something to boost your physical wellbeing may also enhance your mindset.

Talk to a Professional Counselor

Serious cases of burnout aren’t always possible to correct on your own. Professional counselors who are experienced in providing guidance to family caregivers are an excellent resource for rebuilding mental health. Talking to a professional is important if you’re concerned your burnout is also associated with other mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. 

By adding a professional caregiver to your support network, you’ll have someone to look after your loved one while you attend counseling appointments. When considering senior care, Columbus, OH, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals may assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they may also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.

Carve Out Time for Regular Breaks

Respite care is another option to explore for alleviating burnout. If you’ve been feeling like all you do is take care of your loved one, you might just need a few hours away from your duties each week to help you feel normal again. During these breaks, you may renew an old hobby, enjoy a lunch out with a friend, or just spend time at your house without feeling like you have too much to do. Enjoying a little personal freedom now and then may help you feel better when it’s time to return to your normal caregiving duties.

Caring for a senior loved one may be rewarding, but it may also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is elder care. Columbus families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. Call Assisting Hands Home Care at 614-678-5887 today to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager and formulate a home care plan for your loved one.