As a dementia patient, I see how much my wife handles on a daily basis. Caregivers like her are far from invincible, though, and it’s important for the entire family to recognize this and make respite time a regular occurrence.
Dementia-related behaviors can wear on even the most level-headed caregiver. Instead of feeling guilty after lashing out, be honest with yourself and do whatever it takes to ensure it won’t happen again.
Although caregivers are often cautioned against the dangers of burnout, there is an even more serious phenomenon called compassion fatigue that can be detrimental to both care providers and recipients.
In order to be successful, every caregiver needs a care plan and a team to help them execute it. A well-rounded roster of friends, family and professionals can help you provide quality care and prevent burnout.
One of the best forms of "help" a caregiver can ask for is basic moral support. Knowing that someone acknowledges and understands their hard work can be the difference between success and total burnout. A social network is a must for family caregivers.
It is easy to get caught up in caring for others and forget to take care of yourself. However, staying healthy mentally and physically directly affects the quality of care and interaction that you are able to provide for others.
Difficult emotions like guilt often bubble up when facing the need to hire in-home care for a senior. Fortunately, there are steps family caregivers can take to restore balance in their lives and feel at peace with the decision to hire help.
Even when caregivers have access to help, many still come up with excuses to actively refuse assistance. Opening up to the possibility of accepting support ensures you can have a life apart from the needs of your care receiver.
You deserve a break, but how can you avoid spending your respite time worrying about what’s happening at home? Ample planning will ensure your loved one’s needs are met and minimize your anxiety, allowing you to fully disconnect.
Caregiver burnout doesn't always happen all at once--it often sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Learning how to recognize and manage the signs of increasing stress can keep you from becoming overwhelmed.