First of all, we understand how difficult it can be to juggle it all. From finding the time to shuffle kids or grandkids to soccer practice and dance lessons to squeezing in grocery shopping and running to the post office, we are all wearing many hats. Add on the additional responsibility of caring for an aging parent or loved one, and life gets downright hectic and overwhelming. In the midst of trying to stay afloat and balancing it all, we tend to neglect ourselves and do way too much. We lose our ability to say "no" when we need to and forget that it's okay to take a time out and take a deep breath. When this happens, caregiver burnout can be a real possibility, and it's estimated to happen to all caregivers at some point during their time as a caregiver.
Here are some helpful tips to prevent caregiver burnout:
1. Take some time for yourself. Even just a yoga class during the week or a thirty-minute massage can make all the difference. If you are the sole caregiver for your loved one, consider asking another family member or friend to step in and relieve you for an hour. If you just don't have that possibility, Kind Companions is always there for you when you need us most. It's okay to ask for help.
2. Make sleep a priority. When we are stressed out or overwhelmed, we tend to make bad decisions about sleep. We stay up late watching television or surfing the internet, when we could be doing some relaxation exercises or deep breathing to help us fall asleep faster. Remember to limit caffeine late in the day, and consider a sleepytime tea before bed to help you fall asleep faster.
3. Stick to a routine. Sometimes just the feeling that things are not balanced or organized can cause us to feel overwhelmed and out of control. Try to set a schedule for you, and ever for your loved one to help you feel more in balance.
4. Use Technology. Medication reminders can easily be set up with smartphone alarms, or an app that notifies you or your loved one when it's time for a dose. Pill organizers are also a great way to set up meds for an entire week, and helps eliminate the rush to find the right dosages at the right time.
5. Consider a pet for yourself and/or your loved one. Well-trained cats and dogs can often be brought in for a visit and can help lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and even help elderly feel more alert and happy.
If we can assist you with anything at all, Kind Companions is here to help. Please contact us today if we can help.