5 Tips for Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

5 Tips for Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

5 Tips for Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

 

Hello and Welcome to My Healthy Blog

 

If you are a carer for the elderly this insight will help you with some suggestions on how to actually look after yourself at the same time.

Do not wear yourself out as this will impact upon the people you are looking after and this will not benefit either of you.

 

Brief Summary of the points you need to look at:

 

Our youth-centred society turns a blind eye to the unpleasant and inevitable reality that all of us age and die.  This leaves both caregivers and care recipients unprepared. Learn how to open your heart to others without putting your own at risk.

 

Here you have a fictitious story that rings true with so many situations being close to this. Read on and see if you, another member of your family, friends or acquaintances could be or are in this perilous situation.  

 

Joanne’s mother, Betty, had rheumatoid arthritis for years.  Suddenly and unexpectedly, Betty was disabled by the pain, fatigue and limited mobility that she had feared since her diagnosis. 

 

Joanne convinced her fiercely independent mother that living alone was no longer an option.  And Joanne, the eldest of four children, knew that caring for her sick mother fell on her shoulders.  Joanne was a legend in the circles of her family, friends and colleagues for her ability to act with grace under pressure.

 

Joanne took two weeks of vacation from her job and cooked and froze meals for her husband and three children.  As she flew to her hometown, she wondered how she would coordinate her mother’s care from a distance. Supporting her husband as he built his new business, nurturing her kids and directing a major project at work already made her feel that she was running on empty. 

 

You may relate to Joanne’s story.  One out of four Americans cares for a friend or relative who is sick, disabled or frail. That’s 46 million Americans who offer unpaid help to a loved one.  If they were paid caregivers’ compensation would exceed last year’s Medicare budget! And if you become a caregiver, you, like Joanne, may try to do it alone, shrouded in secrecy.

 

Solo care giving compromises your ability to nurture yourself and others. Let’s take care giving out from behind closed doors.  For your sake and the sake of those who count on you, please get some help. Caregivers are competent people who feel that they should be able to do this job.  Yet, many soon find themselves unprepared and ill-equipped to manage the sometimes daunting tasks, such as managing a complex medical regimen or remodelling a house so it’s wheel-chair accessible or even finding someone to stay with their loved ones so they can go out to a movie without worrying their relatives will fall on the way to the fridge.

 

If you are a caregiver, you know that this act of love has its costs.  You stand to forfeit up to $650,000 in lost wages, pension and social security.  Add to that is the personal cost to your well being, as your new demands leave you less time for your family and friends.  You may give up vacations, hobbies and social activities.  Finally, care giving places a burden on your health.  Caregivers are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, depressed immune function and even hospitalization.

 

Instead of reaching out, caregivers become isolated.  Many who assume the care giving burden fit the profile of the giving family member, like Joanne, who does not want to trouble others with their problems.  Some fear the consequences of disclosing their new demands to co-workers or employers. Caregivers are further challenged by the cultural conspiracy of silence.  Our youth-centred society turns a blind eye to the unpleasant and inevitable reality that all of us age and die.  This leaves both caregivers and care recipients unprepared.  Look no further than the path of Hurricane Katrina to witness the consequences of a lack of planning.

 

What can you do?   Start talking about the "what ifs" and make a plan. 

 

1.      Start with yourself.

 What will happen to you and your family if you become disabled or die unexpectedly?  Do you have disability insurance? Do you have a will?  Do you have a living will, and have you identified the person who will make the medical choices you would make if you are not in the position to do so? 

 

2.      Approach healthy family members.   

Say, "I hope that you live many happy years in which you enjoy all of the pleasures you worked so hard to create." 

Have you thought about what would happen to you in the event that you cannot live independently anymore? 

If some medical event befalls you, who would make your medical choices?

 

3.      Look into community resources that support care giving.

 A day program, for example, helps your loved one by providing social connections with peers.  Your community may even offer transportation to and from the program.  Getting out of the house offers the additional benefit of getting bodies moving.  Socializing and exercise are the two most powerful interventions that help your loved ones stay at their best. 

 

4.      Make specific suggestions to friends, family members and neighbours who want to help.

 You may even want to keep a "help list." When they say, "Let me know what I can do," you have a response:  "Could you take Mom to her physical therapy appointment this week?"  "When you’re at the store, could you pick up some oranges and blueberries?"  "Could you watch the kids for an hour so I can get to the gym?" Your giving friends will appreciate specific ideas about how they can help.

 

5.      Take care of your health. 

Get good nutrition, plenty of sleep, and regular exercise to stay in top health.  Wash your hands regularly to prevent colds and flu.  Manage your stress with laughter, a prayer or even a deep breath.  Nourish your soul with a taste of activities that recharge your batteries such as writing in your journal or gardening.  Finally, talk to your doctor if you feel depressed or anxious.  

 

The best strategies for effective care giving include preparation, acts of self-care and reaching out for help. That begins with the courage to start talking openly about care giving.

 

For more information about care giving talk to your local Doctor, hospital or charitable organisations in your local area and you will probably find some extra care for you and your family member.

 

I do sincerely hope that some if not all of these suggestions help you in some way with your care giving. Please stay healthy within yourself and do not let small problems wear you down as most problems can be easily overcome with a little time or even with family input.

Nothing is worth making yourself worn out, depressed or even ill, so do not fret over any small issue, work them out gradually.

Maybe the following item might be of some help towards preparing to being a Carer & Care Giving. We have put together this in hope that it will make your life easier and for those that you will be caring for.   

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Thank you for reading,

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The next post will cover the following;

Simple Protein and Weight Loss Tips 

 

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Until then watch a couple of good comedy movies and have a good laugh.

 

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Remember to check with your health practitioner as to

 

the practicality of any program you choose.

 

It should not be detrimental to your health.

 

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Disclaimer: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

 

Since natural and or dietary supplements are not FDA approved they must be accompanied by a two-part disclaimer on the product that the statement has not been evaluated by the FDA and that the product is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”. 

 

 

 

Kind regards and thanks for visiting,
Laurie Mills

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27.02 | 04:30

Amazing!!!!! Thank you for all the good info...

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