Being a caregiver for an elderly family member can be rewarding, but can also be very hard. Being aware of the things you can do to avoid burnout is key during the process. Here are 7 tips to help avoid caregiver burnout.
- Accept Your Feelings
Negative feelings are part of caregiving, whether you want to admit it or not. It’s ok to feel guilt, anger, stress and resentment. Understanding that you may have these feelings and learning to accept them can allow you to find ways to cope with them.
- Find a Support Group
Check your local area for a support group. There are groups where other caregivers meet, and may be in a similar situation. Unlike friends, these groups may have more of a personal understanding of the challenges you might be going through. The Gables Assisted Living does offer an Alzheimer group each month for those located in Utah and Idaho areas.
- Stay Healthy and Positive
Add some positive routines throughout your day. Make a goal to go for a walk after dinner, do some yoga or even join a gym. While doing these activities focus on the positive things in your life, and enjoy that you are making a choice to keep yourself healthy. Doing this can help ease the stress you might encounter.
- Set Goals
Take time each month to set goals. These can be simple things like putting together schedules, paying bills, doing laundry or washing the dishes. Setting goals of things you wish to accomplish can help you stay on task, and feel good about the things you complete. Don’t add too much to your plate, make sure they are goals that are reasonable and not overwhelming.
- Be Patient
Being a caregiver can be trying. Try learning more about your loved one’s condition and try to understand and empathize with their emotions. Knowing what you are dealing with can help you remain patient and understanding while performing your care giving duties.
- Know Your Limits
It is ok to not meet every goal. Know your limits, know when to stop or slow down. It’s ok to take some time off. Acknowledge when you are feeling stressed out, or overwhelmed. It’s ok to step back and pause and readjust what you are needing to accomplish.
- Accept Your Feelings
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Dalai Lama