If you’re the main family care giver for an elderly loved one, you already know the stress and worry that comes with this responsibility. This stress can feel doubled—especially as we continue heading into the holiday season. It’s important to remember that you are not alone. In fact, according to caregiver.org, over 30 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult over the age of 50 in the United States. As a caregiver, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself with all the responsibilities you shoulder. Not doing so can lead to complete burnout—which isn’t good for you or your loved ones. Below, we’ve provided 5 tips to help you prevent burnout from happening.
1. Take care of yourself
You’ve likely heard it said before—you need to take care of yourself first to take care of others—and it’s true. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you’ll be far more likely to become overtired or sick—which isn’t helpful for anyone. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and making time for exercise or activities you enjoy doing. Doing so will allow you to be the best possible version of yourself, and those under your care will benefit.
2. Join a support group
It can be easy to feel alone with your responsibilities—even when you have friends and family surrounding you. Joining a support group with other caregivers who know exactly what you’re experiencing can be a great reminder that you’re not alone at all. If you can’t find the time to meet with a group in person, there are plenty of online groups and forums that can help too.
3. Make time for yourself & take breaks
It can be easy to get swept up in the schedule of the loved one you’re caring for, but it’s important to carve out some time during the day for yourself as well. Even if its 15 extra minutes of alone time in the early morning before everyone else is up, making a point to have this time for yourself can set the tone for the rest of the day and put you in a better mood.
4. Stay organized
With so many appointments, medications, and daily routines, it can be easy to become frazzled quickly. While you can’t have control over everything, staying organized can help you prevent some of the unnecessary frustrations. Utilize a calendar or helpful reminder tools and apps to help you keep everything straight.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
At the end of the day, one of the most important takeaways from this list is to ask for help when you need it. Whether you need additional assistance with your loved one at home during the day for a few hours at a time, or it’s time to make the switch to assisted living, there are options. While it can be difficult, by asking for help you’re ensuring that your loved one is living the best life possible.
Are you seeking care for you or a loved one? We can help! At Loretto, we’re proud to offer 19 specialized care programs, including our Assisted Living Program. We believe in taking a holistic approach to care, which means addressing the mind, body, and spirit of the individuals who come to us. Let us help you find the programs and services that will best serve you or a loved one. Contact us today!