Caring for a loved one can zap your energy and leave you feeling mentally and physically drained. Known as caregiver burnout, this condition can happen to anyone who is looking after an elderly family member regularly. While anyone can experience burnout, you can use a number of tactics to prevent it so your loved one can continue receiving quality care.
Know the Warning Signs
Typically, burnout doesn’t happen overnight. From feeling irritable to becoming sick often as a result of work overload, there are many symptoms to look out for when you’ve been caring for someone for a prolonged period. If you feel your own self-care starting to dwindle, it may be time to take a break and get outside help.
Develop a Plan
Caring for another person can be overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to accomplish too much. Instead of trying to prepare all of their meals, do laundry, and take them to doctor’s appointments all in one day, stick to a realistic schedule based on the most important priorities.
Engage in Fun Activities
Are there any activities both you and your loved one enjoy, such as taking walks or listening to music? Sometimes, even just spending quiet time together reading or doing puzzles can act as a refresher that benefits both you and your family member.
Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep is essential to your health, so allow yourself at least six to eight hours of rest each evening. Don’t sacrifice your sleep to get more things crossed off your list; there’s always tomorrow.
Ask for Help If You Need It
No one can be expected to perform nonstop caregiving duties without a break. If you notice your home obligations or responsibilities slipping, dips in your mood, or any other signs it’s time for a little break, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Home health care professionals can step in and look after your loved one while you reset. Even when someone else is depending on you, it’s critical to look after your own physical and mental well-being, too.
For families throughout Missouri, the caregivers from Deer Valley Home Health Services, located in St. Louis, St. Charles, and Berkeley, can provide exceptional home care to keep your loved one as happy and healthy as possible. Their dedicated staff can help come up with a schedule to suit your needs, granting you much-needed time to yourself. To learn more about their services, call (314) 355-3679 or visit them online.