Caregiver Burnout: Taking Care of Yourself, First

Taking care of an older family member is a wonderful thing. There are many positives that go along with being there for a favorite grandmother or elderly father. These were the loving ones who took care of you when you needed it most, you think to yourself, and now it’s time for me to give back.

That’s a beautiful sentiment, but caring for an adult who may have physical, medical, and emotional needs can be as exhausting as it is rewarding. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but caregiver burnout is a very real problem that comes with its own set of emotions, including sometimes depression and anxiety.

It may sound selfish to want to think about your own needs first, but caregivers do need to address any issues they may be having, too. Caring for someone full-time is a huge responsibility and often the day-to-day aspects leave you feeling rather drained and hopeless.

Here’s how you can take care of yourself first.

Taking care of yourself involves recognizing your own needs and finding a way to make sure that they are also being met.

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of caregiver burnout. If you no longer want to be involved with family, friends, or activities you once loved, it’s a good bet you’re feeling the extra stress of caregiving. If sleep patterns are interrupted or change over time, this puts a lot of stress on your body. Your moods may go from cheery and glad to anxious and sad, and you may get sick more often.
  • Talk to someone. Find a trusted friend or family member who will understand all you are going through. Just by talking to someone else, you will feel so much better by getting all of the frustrations and anxiety out.
  • Be realistic. As many of the diseases associated with aging progresses, your loved one will get worse, not better, and you must recognize this. It’s never easy to see a loved one slipping away, and caregivers can make all the difference in how it is handled.
  • Set aside time for yourself. Every day do something for you. Put aside one hour and read that book or check your emails, but do it every day, and do it just for you.
  • Look for affordable home care in Scottsdale. This is where you’ll get the temporary break you need. Trusted and reliable caregivers are just waiting to help you and your senior family member.

Home health care is the best gift you can give yourself when caregiving becomes too much for you to manage alone. Your older family member will be helped immensely by home health care, and you will, too.

Posted on May 20, 2016