In America today, more than 43 million adults are caregivers to parents, grandparents, spouses, and other older adults. This includes rides to the doctor and grocery store, feeding, bathing, dressing, and giving the person the proper medication. Caregiving can cause stress and depression if the caregiver does not take breaks from time to time.
Here are a few tips on how to avoid caregiver burnout:
- Take care of yourself. In order to provide the best of care to a loved one, the caregiver must take care of themselves as well. This includes exercising, participating in extracurricular activities, socializing, eating well, and relaxing.
- Ask for help when needed. It is okay to ask for assistance, especially when caring for another person. When needed, ask a family member or a trusted friend to help out. Give them detailed instructions on what to do and tell them when you plan on returning.
- Talk about your struggles to a friend or a therapist. They can help provide support and tips on how to manage the heavy emotional load when dealing with caregiving.
- Find organizations that assist with helping caregivers. Organizations can provide tips, resources, and services helping caregivers manage and receive assistance.
- When the person cared for says something mean or hurtful, do not take it personally. Most likely the person is hurting and does not feel well. If the person has a form of dementia, remind yourself that they do not mean it.