How to avoid caregiver burnout

Caregivers suffer from high levels of stress and frustration.

It’s easy to become burnt out when becoming a caregiver for an elderly parent or grandparent. Being a caregiver can be stressful, time-consuming and taxing on your own home life and health. 

But if you have no additional support, where does this leave you?

You juggle the care you provide with work commitments, shopping errands, GP visits, and finally your own family to look after like school runs, child’s homework, cooking, cleaning and everything else in between.

As a caregiver for your elders, you can suffer from stress and frustration. This is especially true if you care for a loved one suffering from a chronic illness or dementia.

You may feel like you are constantly running around trying to meet the needs of your loved one, and you may not have time for yourself. As a result, every day can feel like a constant struggle.

As a caregiver, you may find that every day is one long struggle to care for your loved one’s needs and wants. Every task takes effort, and you may feel like it’s all going to waste. Life can feel endless and exhausting.

Impact of Caregiving on Mental and Emotional Health

Looking after a loved one can be a very demanding and stressful experience. Emotional and mental health can deteriorate rapidly when looking after your loved ones.

Therefore, taking care of yourself and your loved one is essential by getting plenty of rest, exercise, and relaxation. However, taking care of yourself is not selfish, and you will still feel appreciated if you take time.

Signs and symptoms of caregiver stress and burnout

There are some signs and symptoms of stress and burnout as a caregiver; recognising these is important to your health.

Some characteristics may include feeling overwhelmed, like you can’t take care of everything, feeling exhausted, irritable, sad, having trouble sleeping, and concentrating.

What are the risks of caregiver stress and burnout?

The costs of caregiver stress and burnout have not been widely studied. Still, there is some evidence to suggest that caregiver stress can have some significant impacts on the physical health of caregivers.

These impacts may include the caregiver becoming more susceptible to illness, having a higher risk of heart disease and possibly a stroke, and becoming more tired or less able to do their job.

Increasing Positive Health Outcomes for Caregivers

One way to increase your positive health as a caregiver is to make time for yourself. This may mean taking a break each day to do something you enjoy or taking a more extended vacation once a year. It’s also important to eat healthily and exercise regularly.

Studies have found that exercise, regular diet, and physical activity are associated with better health. If you’re unsure how to increase your positive health for yourself, consider making it a goal to walk 10,000 steps daily. This would equal about 2 miles daily, or roughly 5 minutes of walking.

Reducing Distress and Improving Caregiver Relationships with your family caregiving families need to get together regularly, ideally once a week. This is where you can talk about how your loved one is doing, what is working well and what may need to be changed.

You may also find that different family members have varying perspectives. With this in mind, it’s essential to listen to all views and try to understand their motivations.

Another way to reduce stress and increase positive health is to find a helpful therapist. Find a caring, qualified, compassionate individual who can work with you to ensure your loved one receives the care they need.

Avoid caregiver burnout by feeling empowered.

Feeling empowered is one of the best ways to reduce caregiver burnout. Feeling you have control over your situation makes you less likely to feel overwhelmed and stressed. In addition, if you can make important decisions for yourself, you must do so.

For the most part, caregivers have no choice but to comply with their loved one’s demands. However, the helplessness that comes with a patient in dire need may be stressful for them.

Strategies for dealing with caregiver stress

There are many strategies for dealing with caregiver stress. For example, some people find that talking to friends and family helps, while others find that exercise or relaxation techniques work better. It is important to find what works best for you and stick to it.

These are some of the things that may help deal with caregiver stress:

  • Regular exercise: It’s essential to be on the move regularly, even if it is just a walk around the block. Exercise helps to keep calm and to feel better.
  • Self-care: self-care activities include listening to music, watching movies, reading books, or doing arts and crafts.
  • Guided relaxation techniques: Breathing exercises and meditation significantly reduce stress and stressful situations.
  • Short-term respite: Respite care can be the most beneficial aspect of care. Taking a much-needed break can help you recharge your batteries; it can also be helpful to the person you are caring for and give them some social interactivity.
  • Share the care with other family members as much as you can. You are all busy with your lives so sharing can be super beneficial.

A final thought from us

We applaud all Caregivers for the dedication and time you put into your loved ones’ care. Family is the most important thing, but you are not alone. If you are struggling with caring for a loved one, speak to our team, who can provide respite assistance to ease the pressure you may be experiencing. Call Hygea on 0115 648 6630.

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