How do I avoid burnout?

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I am caring for my mother with dementia and sometime I lose my patience.

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You can't 'avoid burnout'. Not sure what your situation is, but I nearly lost my health and my mind being the solitary caregiver for my mother (except for paid help). When I finally got her on Medicaid and into a nursing home, I was re-born, lol. ....All I can suggest, if you're going it alone, is be organized. Get some help in there a few hours a day. Realize things are never going to be perfect. Bad stuff will happen. It's not YOUR fault as you will be doing your best. And NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER "feel guilty" for taking time for yourself, for paying someone to take over for a while, for finding peace and joy and friendship in your own life. You were not put on this earth to sacrifice your health and mind and soul dancing attendance upon a senile parent.
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arniethek1: I don't think ferris meant it like that. Sometimes, in writing, things can be misinterpreted. Please don't judge her.
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Ferris: Your last statement was insensitive and unnecessary. Alzheimer's caregivers do not need to be reminded that their loved ones have an incurable, fatal disease. We have enough to deal with. Many caregivers have not fully accepted the reality of this disease. They need time and space and deserve our support. A little tact and empathy would go a long way.
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As a caregiver, it is vital to take time for yourself and to take care of yourself. At first I felt guilty, but then I realized it was the best thing I did. I also do meditation which has made a world of difference. I never thought much of the idea, but when I got so frustrated with mom and the lack of support from siblings, I knew I had to do something. So I meditate, do yoga, work full time, take an hour or two everyday just for me; exercise and eat healthy. I made all those changes, except full time working, after a year and a half of taking care of mom. Looking back I wish I had started a long time ago. I also have learned to set intentions, such as, when I look at my mom I think: compassion, love and patience. I always say that to myself whenever I look at her eyes. It has truly made a difference. Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest difference.. Also, don't sweat the small stuff, such as: eating ice cream for breakfast, not wanting to take a bath, etc. If it's not life threatening, I just roll with the punches. Good luck on your journey.
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From what I see, overextending one's self with around the clock caregiving duties causing people to become stressed, exhausted, unhappy, resentful and guilty. So, I think that having unrealistic expectations of your abilities might contribute to burnout.
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I am glad that recognize this! It's crucial.
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Steph: You MUST get respite. Take a break by hiring a day nurse so that you can take of you, else you will be good to NO ONE. i
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I lack patience, period. I like to start something and finish up quickly. Doesn't happen with a Dementia patient. I got Mom when she was starting her decline. I had been watching my infant grandson five days a week right into Mom, 24/7. I did this for a year hoping to sell her house, which didn't happen. My daughter recommended Daycare. So I placed Mom into a local program 3x a week. Did she like it? I don't think she really did but she went. Bus picked her up and dropped her off. It was a Godsend. Now, she is in AL. Don't think she likes it but she doesn't complain. To tell you the truth, I don't feel, at this stage, she would like anything but home and I really don't know, in her mind, where that is.
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I find patience to be a BIG issue when dealing with my husband who has mid-stage AD. It's more difficult when I have a lot of things to do (I also care for my 95 year old mom who lives with us). Like many of you, I feel guilty when I lose it and say not so nice things to my husband. I employ various ways of coping but the most effective tool I have is meditation. I took it up in my 20's when I was in a highly stressful job and have used it on and off throughout my life. I can't imagine going through my present situation without it. I meditate every morning for 20 minutes before we get up. It helps to keep me calm in stressful situations and keeps me focused on what needs to be done to make our (mine, my husband's and my mom's) life the best it can be under the circumstances. You don't have to take a course, just do an online search and there will be various simple suggestions as to how to go about it. I don't know how it works. All I know is IT DOES for me!
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Have patience with your older parents. You need to get away once a week. Go to the movies or fine out. Trust me you will have plenty of time later on. I wish i had my mom back. Momma passed on 03/27/16. Missing her so much. I cry every day. Please have patience. Put yourself in their shoes.
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