Most people may experience caring for loved ones at some point in their lives. While caring for loved ones can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime, it can also become stressful at times. Most caregivers may have health problems of their own, have children to care for or work outside the home. Unfortunately, the additional caregiver duties can lead to excessive physical or emotional fatigue called caregiver burnout.
Here’s some tips to help avoid caregiver burnout:
• Tip 1 – Take some “me time” to reduce stress and make your health a priority. Eat well, exercise and relax as much as possible. Look into respite programs to allow yourself a short break. Also, know the warning signs of depression.
• Tip 2 – Seek emotional support. Contact professionals and organizations that assist caregivers in your community. The assistance may be free or available at low cost.
• Tip 3 – Stay informed and ask questions concerning the patient’s health; Go to doctor visits and sit through therapy sessions to learn more about the patient as well as the medical condition.
• Tip 4 – Look for time-savers for meals, household chores and other errands.
• Tip 5 – Ask family or friends for help and to share responsibilities. Remember, not to criticize others who are there to help you. The important thing is that your loved one’s needs are met.
Remember, it is important to get help before caregiving becomes overwhelming. As a caregiver, you can make a real difference in the life of someone you’re caring for.