If you’re burning the candle from both ends, there’s no fire left for you.
We at Collier Home Care have seen many cases of caregiver burnout. We suggest you read the article below and give us a call if you think that you or someone close may be suffering from caregiver burnout. We provide some suggestions below on avoiding or controlling burnout and we are happy to consult with you and make suggestions without any commitment.
If someone were to ask you to care for a loved one, what would you say? Yes? No?
Initially, the idea of caring for someone you love may seem normal, helpful, and relatively easy. How hard could it be? But, here’s the reality: over time, continuous care takes a toll.
Caregiver burnout, otherwise known as compassion fatigue, is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. Caregiver burnout becomes a major issue when caregivers don’t take the time they need to fully recharge and care for themselves. It’s common for caregivers to feel guilty spending time on themselves rather than with ill or elderly loved ones, but as they continue to put the needs of others before their own, their ability to care for themselves and the people they work with becomes affected.
It’s also not uncommon for caregivers to work multiple jobs and offer care for different families. It’s easy to see how with a full schedule and the needs of their own family, a caregiver’s self-care ultimately takes a backseat.
According to VITAS, common signs of caregiver burnout include:
- Lack of energy
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Trouble sleeping
- Changes in eating habits
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Losing interest in things you used to enjoy
- Neglecting your own physical & emotional needs
- Feeling as though caregiving is controlling your life
- Becoming impatient, irritable, or argumentative
- Anxiety about the future
- Depression or mood swings
Do any of these sound or feel familiar? If they do, here are five ways caregivers can avoid burnout:
- Ask for help and take people up on it. Asking for help does not make you a bad caregiver. Let go of the idea that one person has to do it all. We’re meant to rest, recharge our batteries, and enjoy a break from work at the end of the day. When people say they want to lend a hand, let them.
- Delegate tasks to others. Whether it’s cooking dinner twice a week for you or following through and arriving on-time, let people know how they can show up for you.
- Stay invested in your own well-being. Eating healthy, staying active, and getting enough sleep are the basic foundations of well-being. They’re also the building blocks of your immune system, which is important so you can stay healthy and avoid getting sick.
- Pamper yourself when you can. Caregiving is tough work. Make an opportunity to wind down at the end of the day with a long bath, or put a massage on your calendar. Take time for yourself by writing in a journal, praying, or meditating. Find what connects you back to your center and stay faithful to those practices.
- Know when it’s time to call in the professionals. Oftentimes, home care agencies get called in when caregivers reach a breaking point, but with home care it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. We’re flexible. Depending on what you need, we offer between one and 24 hours of service, plus live-in care.
If someone you know is exhibiting signs of caregiver burnout, please share these ideas with them. If you know of someone who could use a hand (or if that’s you), please give Collier Home Care a call at (239) 920-3902 or contact us here.
It continues to be our pleasure to care for you, your family, and your loved ones.
Please stay healthy and stay well!