6 Tips For Managing Caregiver Overwhelm

6 Tips For Managing Caregiver Overwhelm

Research shows 90% of seniors want to age in place, and while this may feel like the most comfortable and safe option for them, it can make things difficult for their loved ones. Remaining independent and self-sufficient is not always as easy as it sounds. In fact, it’s pretty common for caregivers to neglect their own physical and emotional health. Caregiving is especially difficult when caregivers are required to balance families and careers as well. The stress of the situation can quickly lead to caregiver overwhelm or caregiver burnout.

Daugther Caring For Mom 

Signs Of Caregiver Overwhelm

It is important to recognize the signs of burnout early so you can take the necessary steps to get your life back into balance.

Common signs of caregiver burnout include:

  • Physical and emotional exhaustion
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Loss of interest in activities which you previously enjoyed
  • Difficulty sleeping or irregular sleeping patterns
  • Changes in appetite, weight, or both
  • Feeling like caregiving is controlling your life
  • Feelings of alienation, helplessness, or hopelessness
  • Impatience and irritability with the person you’re caring for (and other loved ones)

Once you learn to recognize the signs of caregiver burnout be sure to take the appropriate steps to bring it back under control.

Tips For Managing Caregiver Overwhelm

Get Help

When you feel overwhelmed with the daily and weekly responsibilities on your plate, enlist the help of other family members, friends, or neighbors. If your financial situation allows it, consider hiring outside help for things like housekeeping, laundry, and grocery shopping to alleviate some of the burden.

Educate Yourself

Uncertainty can lead to frustration, and being unclear about your loved one’s health care issues and their individual needs, can feel overwhelming. There are plenty of resources on the internet to help you, so try to do some research on your own. Beyond that, look for organizations and hospitals in your area that may offer classes on specific health conditions or issues that your loved one may be facing.

Make Self Care A Priority

While caregiving can be quite demanding, it is important that you take care of yourself too. Be sure to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and consider adding daily relaxation and meditation to your routine.

Plan Ahead

A large part of the stress that comes with caregiving stems from the unpredictability of the situation. Thinking ahead and having a plan in place for dealing with a possible crisis can alleviate the stress that comes with a medical event or emergency. Have a Plan B in place and don’t be afraid to ask family members and friends for help.

Stay Organized

When situations arise without warning, everything can feel topsy-turvy. Talk to your loved one ahead of time and make sure you understand his/her personal wishes regarding medical directives, nursing care, and end-of-life issues. Also, make sure you know where your loved one keeps his/her bank records, social security cards, wills, and other important documents. Knowing all of this beforehand will leave you feeling better prepared to handle any situation.

Set Realistic Goals

It’s no secret that there’s always something to do, and after a while, you may feel like your to-do list is just endless. When this happens, ask family members and friends to pitch in, and above all else, be sure to give yourself some grace. Remember that tomorrow is another day.

To avoid burnout and overwhelm, caregivers must be able to provide the care their loved one needs while balancing their own health and well-being. If you learn how to recognize the early signs of caregiver burnout, you’ll be able to adjust quickly and manage the situation before it get out of control. In the end, both you and your loved one will be much happier.