Millions of people throughout the country are an unpaid caregiver to family members who are elderly, ill, or disabled. It is a labor of love that consists of long hours and tireless dedication. Many do not take the much needed break they deserve… and need. This can lead to caregiver burnout. Caregiver burnout should be taken just as seriously as any other medical issue. It is a state of physical, emotion, and mental exhaustion that can affect both you and the loved one you are caring for.
A person experiencing burnout may withdraw from family and friends, lose interest in hobbies, have a loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, and become sick more easily. In this state, it is difficult to deliver the best care you can, which is why it is so important that you take time for yourself as well.
How can you prevent caregiver burnout? The best way is to know your limits, continue to do things you enjoy, take care of your health, and most importantly: know when to ask for help. It is OK to go out to dinner with a friend without feeling guilty. We all need social interaction to remain emotionally healthy! Make sure you are scheduling doctor’s visits regularly for yourself as well and not just your dependent. Being physically well will keep you healthy and better able to do your job well.
Who can you turn to for help? Not everyone has a team of family members they can rely on to take over in their absence. Respite care services are a wonderful alternative. Hiring a home care agency to come to your home a few hours a day, or week, can give you your much needed break. In some instances, you may even be able to plan a vacation without the worry of where your loved one will go.
So call MAS Home Care today to learn how you can get quality care for your loved one and a break for yourself. Guilt free.