You might think that burnout is something that happens to people working long, high-pressure hours in an office. But family caregivers can also suffer. The decision to care for an elderly or chronically ill relative is a compassionate one, but can be a cause of chronic stress. Without managing that stress, the physical and mental toll can lead to caregiver burnout. But it doesn't have to be that way. Many tools and resources are available for family caregivers to keep minds and bodies strong. Here at Synergy HomeCare of Michigan, we want you to be at your best.
It's important that you take time to rest and recharge. Use respite care to give you the time you need for yourself. There are many ways to manage the stress of caregiving, such as regular exercise or enjoying a hobby. Make time for yourself; you have truly earned it for the effort you make taking care of a loved one.
Also, you are not alone, even if you feel isolated from others as a family caregiver. According to the American Society on Aging, about 22 million households provide caregiver services to a family member or friend over 50. Forty percent of caregivers are also raising children, and 64 percent work either full- or part-time. You can find help by reaching out to caregiver support groups, whether in your community or online. Connect with other family caregivers, and share stories and resources. Just having someone to listen to you can be a big help. "Trouble shared is troubled halved," as the saying goes.
Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your chronically ill or disabled loved one. Take action right away if you feel depressed or are experiencing burnout, and get the help you need. Help and support is available, so make sure caregiver burnout is a struggle you never face.
Go to our homepage to find many resources for caregivers.
Use the Family Caregiver Alliance's Family Care Navigator o find caregiver resources in your state.
The National Family Caregivers Association has a list of tips to help prevent caregiver burnout and a guide for caring for your family member. Also, Healthguide has a variety of information and links for coping with stress.