The Centers for Disease Control identify informal or unpaid caregivers as the “backbone of long-term care provided in people’s homes.” The CDC goes on to say that although caregiving can be rewarding, caregivers can also experience stress, depression and other negative health consequences. Even while taking care of another person, the Caregiver put their own health at risk.
Typically, unpaid caregivers are friends or family members who provide ongoing assistance with normal, everyday tasks. The recipients of care can be children or adults with chronic or disabling conditions. The CDC estimates that about 25 percent of adults in the United States provide care on a regular basis.
Reducing Caregiver Burnout
When you’re on an airplane, you’re told to put on your oxygen mask before helping your child. The same holds true with caregiving. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be at your best when helping someone else. It’s important to put your needs first and keep your stress in check. Here are some tips that will help you manage caring for someone.
Use Community Resources
Most cities have many resources for seniors, from geriatric care managers, meal delivery services such as Meals on Wheels and respite providers. Take advantage of service providers who can fill in and help relieve your responsibilities. Search for elder care or senior care resources in your city or talk to your loved one’s doctor about local care resources available through their insurance.
Take Care of Yourself Physically
Eat healthy meals. Get enough sleep. Exercise. Avoid giving in to drinking or binging on fast food. Take breaks, both short-term and long-term. Ask for help. Keep a mental list of things that people can do for you. When you do get an offer of help, take the person up on it. Use the time to relax or do something you enjoy.
Deal With Your Feelings
Caregivers often stifle their feelings and emotions. But when you bottle up your feelings, it’s easy to feel even more frustrated than you were before. The more stressed you get, the harder it is to solve problems and ask for help with a clear head. Join a support group. Make sure to meet up with friends. You may even want to find a professional counselor.
Say No Without Guilt
Resist the urge to do everything that you get asked to do. You can say no, whether you choose to explain or not is up to you. Don’t feel guilty. You are one person who is already stretched thin by caring for someone else.
How Can We Help?
Home Helpers can provide short-term and long-term care to allow friends and family to be just that for a person in need of help. Get more information about Home Helpers caregivers when you schedule a free consultation with our professional team. We’ll provide a break for you while giving your loved one the best care available.