Many people find themselves caring for a disabled family member. They often take on many responsibilities, which often leads to caregiver burnout. At Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers, we know you love your disabled family member and are capable of caring for their needs better than most. But if you don’t give yourself a break here and there, you may lose yourself.
There’s a lot of guilt associated with caregiver burnout, but there shouldn’t be. To continue being the best caregiver you can be, it’s important to take a break and maintain personal interests and alone time. You may have already started to feel the emotional and physical wear and tear that comes along with being a sole caregiver. Watch for the signs of caregiver burnout and take a break to focus on your needs and spread some responsibility with a network of supporters.
Caregiver burnout is associated with anxiety, depression, heightened emotions, trouble concentrating, trouble sleeping, and more. Many of these consequences from ignoring your emotional and physical needs can be chronic, as caregiving is sometimes a lifetime responsibility. However, caregiver burnout is not healthy for you to live with. It’s also an unhealthy environment for your disabled loved one. Watch for signs of caregiver burnout and take breaks as necessary.
Many habits such as eating well, sticking to an exercise routine, and putting an hour a day aside for personal time, can be worked into your daily routine. Simple tasks that assure your health is being taken care of can keep caregiver burnout at bay and create a happier home for yourself and your disabled loved one.
Sometimes caregiver burnout can sneak up on you slowly. You may not recognize when you need a break. If family members and friends have noticed that you seem short tempered or aren’t spending enough time with your partner or other family members, you may need to take a break. You may also be getting sick more often than you usually do, due to ignoring your own health needs. You may also experience weight gain or weight loss and feelings of lethargy.
If you’re not in optimum health mentally and physically, you can’t care for your disabled loved one as well. Take control of your own health by reducing stress. It’s important to have a plan in place for reducing stress and attacking a problem before the stressors of problems arise.
Set goals you can accomplish every week, month, and year to reduce stress for yourself and your disabled loved one. When a problem arises, find a solution and try it out. Worrying accomplishes nothing but instead diminished your mental health. Be sure to recognize and respect your emotions. They’ll tell you when you need to take a break or try a new approach.
Give yourself the praise and recognition you deserve. Caregiver burnout may also arise from feeling underappreciated or overlooked. Find ways to appreciate yourself. Be kind to yourself; recognize that you are human and you’re doing the best you can every day.
Join a support group, communicate with family members, and reach out to your friends. When you become a caregiver, it’s important to create a network of support early on. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and ask for help when you begin to experience caregiver burnout or need a break. An important part of creating a strong network of supporters is to not be a control freak. After being a sole caregiver, it may be hard to give up some control and allow others to help out but if you are too controlling, family members, friends, and support groups may be more hesitant to help you.
At Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers nothing is more important than putting your mind at ease while we take care of your disabled loved one. Call us and make us part of your network of supporters.