Caregiver Burnout

Caregiver in Smithtown, NY: Caring for a loved one in need is a selfless act of kindness, love and loyalty.   Most caregivers don’t even label themselves as  “caregivers”, but rather just a son, or daughter with a loved one that needs their help.

Unfortunately, caregiving is often underestimated in terms of time, physical demands, emotional demands, and financial demands.    As loved ones age and health declines, caregiving becomes more intense and stressful over time.

What Are the Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout?

* Withdrawal from friends, family and other loved ones.

* Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed.

* Feeling blue, irritable, hopeless and helpless.

* Changes in appetite, weight, or both.

* Changes in sleep patterns.

* Getting sick more often.

* Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or the person for whom you are caring.

* Emotional and physical exhaustion.

10 Tips for Preventing Burnout:

  1. Reward yourself with respite breaks often and take advantage of respite care services, such as Home Companions.
  2. Watch for signs of depression and obtain professional help to address it.
  3. When people offer to help, accept the offer and suggest things that they can do.
  4. Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition and how to communicate effectively with doctors.
  5. Be open to technologies and ideas that promote your loved one’s independence.
  6. Be good to your back and minimize lifting and pulling.
  7. Stay healthy by eating right and getting plenty of exercise and sleep.
  8. Join a caregiver support group to share your feelings and experiences with others going through the same situation.
  9. Know your limits and when to say “no”. Caregiving can snowball into mounting responsibilities if you allow it.
  10. Keep a record of local resources for home care, assisted living, day programs, transportation, and entitlements.
Jennifer Benjamin
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