Community Blog

9 Ways to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

By Debbie Humphrey

As a caregiver, you may find yourself facing many new responsibilities. With the pressures of household disruption and concerns of financial strain, it’s easy to feel as if you have no control of the situation or that you’re in over your head. These feelings could be caregiver burnout. Caregiver burnout is the emotional and physical strain of caregiving. Individuals who experience the most stress are the most vulnerable to a decline in their own health. As a caregiver, you are susceptible to depression and anxiety.

Nine Ways You Can Avoid Caregiver Burnout:

  1. Ask for help and accept it. Be prepared with a list of ways that others can help you. Don’t try to do it all alone. Don’t expect that family members or friends will know that you need help. You need to ask for it and when its offered you should accept it and be willing to relinguish some control.
  2. Don’t give into guilt. There is no such thing as the “perfect parent”. Do the best you can. As caregivers, we sometimes give ourselves unattainable goals.
  3. Get Support. Talking to a friend, family member or even joining a support group and help relieve some of the guilt and pressure you’re feeling.  Talking about your feelings will provide you with emotional support and practical advice.
  4. Become educated. Learn how to care specifically for someone with the disease your loved one is facing. As diseases progress, different caregiving skills and capabilities are necessary. It’s important to educate yourself on what to expect.
  5. Stay connected. Try to keep in touch with family and friends. Set aside time to socialize each week. It may seem impossible but it’s important to your own well-being.
  6. Commit to staying healthy. Try to find time to be physically active on most days. It’s crucial to get enough sleep and maintain a healthy diet. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to care for anyone else.
  7. Visit your doctor. Explain your caregiver situation to your Doctor and be certain to describe any symptoms of depression or sickness you may be experiencing.
  8. Try to keep your sense of humor. A good laugh can help lighten the load!  When you laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body.
  9. Take a break. Taking time for yourself is critical and only partially for your benefit. Your loved one will reap the benefits as well. Respite care is a necessary time to renew.

When to Seek Additional Help

At some point you may feel overwhelmed and need assistance. The great news is that companies like Home Helpers can assist you when you need it. Our compassionate, highly-trained caregivers provide in home companion care; allowing your loved one to be cared for in the comfort of their own home. Whether you just need the weekend off, or you need assistance on a daily basis, you can count on Home Helpers.