There is a real emotional, mental and physical toll on those that have taken on a caregiver role for a loved one. There are daily stresses that come along with taking care of another person, especially when there are physical or mental limitations involved. Caregivers work hard to keep those in their care happy, healthy and comfortable, and oftentimes, forget or don’t take time to care for themselves. This can lead to what is referred to as “caregiver burnout,” which is basically mental and emotional exhaustion that can lead to withdrawal, fatigue, irritability, sadness and other changes in personality and mental state.
Create Structure and Routine
When both you and your loved one have more structure in your days, you can learn what to expect and avoid difficult stressors. Sometimes as we age, we rely on keeping a daily schedule and routine in order to feel settled and comfortable. For the caregiver, this means letting go of some expectations and understanding that knowing when it’s time to eat, shower, run errands, get ready for bed, etc. can help your loved one to feel less frustrated and out of control.
Exercise should be an important part of everyone's routine, regardless of age. There are many benefits to working out, as it helps with almost every function in the body. Whether it’s going for a walk outside, swimming at your local pool or in the ocean or joining a workout partner for a class, exercise can help your mind, body and spirit. Learn more here: http://www.ahhrehab.com/family-education/get-moving-exercise-routines-for-seniors. Taking the time for yourself and making your own needs a priority can help you to better care for others – and giving yourself the freedom to make plans in your own life can help you to feel less “trapped” in a caregiver role.
Ask for (& Accept) Help
There’s no reason to feel guilty when asking for help in your caregiving role, though many caregivers do feel a certain sense of guilt if they share the responsibilities, even a little bit, with someone else. Caring for someone else can be overwhelming and lonely, and if caregivers never accept the help of others they are prone to experiencing caregiver burnout. However, there is help available for caregivers. Whether it’s a friend who comes to sit with your loved one while you run some errands, a family member who can take on some of the responsibilities, or a home health care agency such as Allegiance who will customize a care plan for your loved one, there are many options to lighten the load of caregivers.
With Allegiance Home Health, you can be sure that your loved one will receive customized care, whether they need companion care for a few hours per week or a full-time caregiver. For more information, visit http://www.ahhrehab.com/.