Caring for someone who is aging or ill can be very rewarding, but there may be times when you may feel overwhelmed. After all, you might have other responsibilities like family and work, and caregiving can be extremely time-consuming. It is important to recognize signs of stress to avoid burnout. That way you can address the issue and continue to support the people who are counting on you.
Recognizing Signs of Stress
The first step toward avoiding caregiver burnout is to recognize that you have a problem. You might have trouble concentrating or sleeping, you may start avoiding activities you once enjoyed, or you may find yourself eating or drinking more than usual. As time goes by you might feel more irritable, resentful, anxious and depressed. If things don’t change, you might find yourself suffering from exhaustion and you may even develop health problems.
Simple fixes can make a big difference to help you avoid burnout. Try these methods to manage caregiver stress.
- Build in Some “Me Time”
Remember that no one expects you to be a caregiver every minute of every day. Take some time for yourself and you will notice your stress levels come down. A quiet walk, meditation or yoga exercises to start your day can make a big difference. Read a book, play an online game and make it a point to keep up with your friends.
- Start a Routine
Setting up a daily routine can make your life easier. A routine will let you and your loved one know what to expect as the day unfolds. Following a routine can help you exert some control over the situation so you don’t get overwhelmed by your responsibilities. Keeping a routine is extremely helpful for elders who show signs of dementia.
Build a support system to help with caregiving chores. Family and friends may be able to pitch in, and there are organizations that provide respite and adult day care. A home healthcare professional can help out with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing
- Harness Technology
Technology has changed our world, and there are many advances that are available to make caregiving easier. From simple medication reminders to complex health tracking software that manages insurance and doctor’s appointments, technology can keep you organized. Home monitoring systems alert you to a problem such as a fall or accident, and electronic devices can help you stay in touch.
- Work on a Project
Looking forward to working on a project can improve the quality of life for the aging senior and provide an enjoyable pastime for you. Put together a puzzle, organize photos into an album or create a scrapbook that celebrates memories and family. For extra stress relief, play music while you work on the project.
- Bring a Furry Friend
If you and your loved one are animal lovers, try pet therapy. You can simply bring along your own well-behaved pet, or sign up for a formal pet therapy program. Pets can lower blood pressure, increase social interaction and bring joy to your loved one, making your job easier.
Hiring a Caregiver
When you need a healthcare companion to help with caregiving responsibilities, contact Home Helpers of South Shore at 781-585-1244. Learn about the support we provide to make your life easier and improve your loved one’s quality of life.
We serve the following communities:
Abington , Braintree , Brockton , Buzzards Bay , Carver , Cohasset, Dighton , Duxbury , Falmouth , Halifax , Hanson , Hingham , Holbrook , Hull , Humarock , Kingston , Lakeville , Marshfield , Mashpee , Middleboro , Norwell , Pembroke , Plymouth , Plympton , Quincy , Randolph , Rockland , Sandwich , Scituate , Taunton , Wareham , Weymouth , Whitman