Senior Caregivers, Don’t Ignore Your Feelings- Burnout And How You Can Cope With It
As a senior caregiver, there are so many things that you need to be aware of, from your loved one to your own career to any children or pets that also depend on you. Over time all of these responsibilities can weigh on you and without a break, or a little extra time to rest, you could experience caregiver burnout. This is a state of mental, physical, or emotional exhaustion that can affect the quality of your caregiving, as well as your life outside of it.
Did you know nearly half of caregivers have trouble balancing work and caregiving?
At Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Coeur d’Alene, and the surrounding area, we know that you are committed to providing the best possible care for your senior loved one. That’s why we’ve put together a list of common symptoms of burnout along with helpful coping strategies that you can try! We want to encourage you to care for yourself, as well as your loved one.
Give us a call at (208) 357-4295 to learn more!
How Do I Know If I’m Experiencing Burnout?
While there are many symptoms of burnout, there are two that almost every senior caregiver will notice first: fatigue and irritability. You may also begin to notice you’re experiencing more headaches or having trouble sleeping despite being exhausted when you get home for the day.
Other signs hat you are experiencing burnout could include:
Feeling stressed in the patient’s presence
If you notice yourself or a loved one who is a caregiver is experiencing these symptoms, the best thing you can do is address it. These feelings don’t typically go away on their own or with time and can even worsen. Fortunately, there are healthy ways you can learn to cope with the stresses of being a primary caregiver for your senior.
Coping Mechanisms For Caregiver Burnout
There are many healthy coping mechanisms that you can choose from as a senior caregiver but, the trick is finding the right one for you. Remember that what works for someone else may not be the best choice for you. For example, many people find that exercise helps them alleviate the stresses from their day but you may find it more frustrating. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get some exercise, just that it isn’t the best coping method for you!
Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition: Learning how to best manage your loved one’s conditions can be immensely helpful in decreasing stress. Some hospitals or local organizations may even offer classes to help you learn. For example, if you care for a senior with Alzheimer’s or dementia, learning how memory works and the way dementia progresses can help you better understand what your loved one is communicating if they’re having difficulty.
Find a healthy way to vent your frustrations: For some, this can be a friend who understands the demands placed on a caregiver. Others may find it works better for them to write down their frustrations in a private diary or word document.
Listen to your body: If your body is tired, let yourself rest. It may be a good idea to take a vacation if you can. Even a night away from your responsibilities can do wonders for you!
Is Respite Care An Option?
So, you know more about caregiver burnout and have a few healthy coping mechanisms you can try but, what happens when that isn’t enough? If you don’t have a friend or family member who can step in to help, you can call Comfort Keepers Home Care serving Coeur d’Alene, and the surrounding area! We offer flexible respite care plans in order to provide you with the downtime you need while ensuring that your loved one is safe and secure at home. In addition, many seniors enjoy the additional socialization and conversation that the respite caregiver can provide!
If you’d like to learn more about why you should choose Comfort Keepers Home Care, our full list of care services, or if you’d like more information on burnout and how to avoid it as a senior caregiver, please contact us online anytime or call us at (208) 357-4295. Our agents are available round the clock to answer your questions and schedule your free in home consultation.