You’re a selfless person. You find joy in caring for others.
It takes a special type of person to be a caregiver to an elderly or terminal patient. This is especially difficult if the person you’re caring for is a loved one.
You need patience, strength, and a strong will.
But even the strongest, most resilient individuals have a breaking point. Caregiver burnout is a real thing – and one you need to take special care to avoid.
Keep reading for advice on how to eliminate caregiver burnout so you can continue nurturing both yourself and others.
Remember Your Purpose
On those days when you feel mentally, physically, and emotionally drained, remember your purpose. Why did you agree to the role of the caregiver?
Maybe it was to make your loved one’s final days memorable – filled with love and happiness.
Or perhaps you have an innate desire to help and nurture others. Being a caregiver is a very rewarding, fulfilling position.
So when times get tough, step back and look at the positive impact you have on your patient. This will help make all those tough times seem worth it.
Ask for Help
There’s no shame in asking for help. If you’re a child caring for an elderly parent, it can be emotionally taxing.
If you have siblings, cousins, or even friends available to lend a helping hand, don’t hesitate to ask them. When people offer to help, put your pride aside and accept it.
You may not realize that you’re suffering from caregiver burnout until it’s too late. Some of the warning signs include:
- Fatigue or insomnia
- Mood swings
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time to ask for help.
Placing your loved one in an assisted living facility is another great option if you can’t commit to full-time care-giving.
Recognize Your Own Needs
As a caregiver, your natural inclination is to put the needs of your patient or loved one first. And while this is an important part of your role, it’s not the only one.
Remember that your needs matter too. You need sleep and nourishment just as much as your patient does.
Don’t feel guilty about taking mental health breaks. In fact, after a short time away you’ll return to your role energized, rejuvenated, and more patient than before.
This will benefit both you and your loved one.
Join a Support Group
There’s strength in numbers. Chances are, you’re not the only person struggling with the demands of being a full-time caregiver.
Find a group that meets weekly, or even monthly, to discuss the challenges of your position. Here, you can be honest about your frustrations and doubts.
Support groups offer a judgment-free place to vent and express all those bottled-up feelings you may be having. You might even develop lasting friendships with people who are in a similar situation as you.
Avoid Caregiver Burnout by Being Aware
Caregiver burnout often happens to those who aren’t aware of the warning signs – or choose to push through and ignore them.
While this method might work short-term, in the long-term, both you and your loved one will suffer.
Check out our blog for more articles like this on self-care, health, and living your best life.