by: Melanie Farley
A caregiver is an unpaid individual (usually a family member) who assists others with daily activities of living and often medical tasks as well. In the US, family caregivers spend an average of about 24.4 hours per week providing care. And, nearly 1 in 4 Americans spend 41 hours or more per week caring for a loved one. Most caregivers also have full-time careers, families, and other responsibilities.
With so much to manage, it’s no wonder that family caregivers have difficulty managing stress and are at an increased risk for burnout. Keep reading for some warning signs of burnout and 3 expert tips to avoid it.
Warning Signs of Caregiver Burnout
If you are one of the nearly 40 million Americans caring for a senior loved one, you may be so used to doing everything on your own that you forget your own needs.
Here are a few signs that you might be in danger of burnout:
- Impatience, irritability, or resentment toward the person who needs care
- Increased stress and anxiety
3 Expert Tips to Avoid Caregiver Burnout
- Accept Help
Consider preparing a list of tasks that friends and family members can help you with throughout the week. Then each person can choose an item from the list. For example, one person might take your senior loved one for a walk once a week, another might help with grocery shopping or preparing meals.
Just remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself. Also, no one is a perfect caregiver, so focus on what you can do, and try not to feel guilty about needing support.
- Seek Social Support
It’s essential for your mental and emotional health to stay connected with friends and family who offer nonjudgmental support.
You might also consider joining a local caregiver support group. A support group can help connect you with other caregivers who understand your struggles and who might have recommendations for managing difficult situations.
- Consider Adult Day Care & Other Community Resources
Even just a couple of days of week in adult day care can offer caregivers immense relief. Adult day care offers a safe, engaging environment for seniors during the day, then they spend their evenings with their caregivers. With that free time, caregivers can run errands, connect with friends, or explore their own interests.
Adult day care can help you connect with other local services as well like meal delivery, transportation assistance, and more.
A Final Word…
Caregiving for a senior loved one can be incredible rewarding, but if you’re not careful, it can be draining as well. As a caregiver, it’s also important to take care of your own mental and emotional health so that you can give your senior the love they deserve.
Pay attention to these warning signs, and try these expert tips to manage stress and avoid burnout.
Would your senior loved one benefit from expert adult day care in a warm, welcoming environment? The healthcare professionals at Northeast Adult Day Care can provide skilled care, monitoring, and social interaction for your loved one! Reach out to learn more, [email protected].