Did you know that the average family caregiver spends about 20 hours per week caring for their loved one? The role of caregiver can be exhausting and challenging, especially when coupled with other personal and professional responsibilities, in addition to the current public health pandemic. Caregiver burnout – the physical, mental and emotional exhaustion that can be caused by caring for someone – can be prevented. The Caregiver Action Network offers the following tips to reduce stress and decrease your risk of burnout.
- Connect: Reach out to other caregivers within your network or join a local or online support group. You’re not alone, and it often helps to talk with others with similar experiences.
- Take Care of Yourself: Taking time each day to tend to your own health is just as important as your caregiving role. Be aware of your own physical and mental health, and don’t be afraid to seek professional guidance when you notice changes in how you’re feeling.
- Say Yes: Accept help when others offer it, and suggest specific tasks that would lighten your load.
- Keep an Open Mind: Be open to new technologies developed to help you care for your loved one, such as video conferencing with physicians or at-home health monitoring. These are designed to help you and loved one more easily manage their care.
- Stay Organized: Keep medical records and legal documents up to date and easily accessible in case of an emergency.
- Take a Break: Caregiving is hard work, and it’s important to take breaks often. Spend some time doing something you enjoy or simply rest. Utilize respite services in your area, if possible, to have uninterrupted “you time”.
There are many organizations that provide resources and support to caregivers. Visit the Caregiver Action Network’s website to see a comprehensive list of orgs that could help you.
If you think your loved one would benefit from the additional services that Elara Caring can provide, visit our Locations page to find the Elara Caring branch nearest you.