Caregiver burnout is a real possibility, especially if all the responsibilities of managing your loved one’s needs fall on your shoulders. Whether it’s your spouse or your aging parent, caregiver burnout can easily set in when you are on call around the clock. These five strategies can help you manage stress and keep yourself in good health so you can be a more effective, helpful caregiver.
1. Make Sleep a Priority
During sleep, your body heals and prepares for the next day. The proper amount of sleep helps your body regulate hormones as well as keep your immune system functioning. Your emotional well-being improves when you’re well-rested.
Caregiver burnout starts when your sleep suffers. Even though your loved one may need you at all hours of the day and night, it’s vital to make sure your body gets the sleep it desperately needs. If that means asking for assistance or hiring helpers, it’s essential and it will be worth it. Without enough sleep, your role as a caregiver will quickly become emotionally and physically overwhelming.
2. Join a Support Group
It’s hard to go it alone. Whether you’re caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s or tending to a parent that has lost mobility, it can help to know that others are facing similar challenges. A support group can provide a sense of community and offers you an opportunity to learn ways to take better care of your loved one and yourself.
3. Find a Creative Outlet
Don’t let caregiver burnout drain you – step away from your role and participate in an activity solely for your own benefit. Take an art or music class, go on a daily nature walk or join a book club. Having your own hobby can help you retain your individuality throughout the fatiguing days when you’re exhausted and losing your sense of self.
4. Establish a Routine That Works
Don’t push yourself to the brink of a breakdown before you finally take time for yourself. Establish a daily routine that allows you enough sleep at night and time for personal hobbies so you’re not worn thin. You should also try to find the time to exercise, even if it’s just a short walk around the neighborhood. Make sure to keep up with your own doctor and dental appointments and maintain relationships with friends and family members. A stable, predictable routine can benefit both you and your loved one that depends on you.
5. Ask Hard Financial Questions
Part of taking responsibility as a caregiver involves managing insurance and financial issues. Maybe this is a large part of the stress you’re feeling in your role. If so, caregiver burnout in this area is easily addressed by establishing a relationship with a trusted advisor. For example, depending on My Senior Health Plan to explain all insurance coverage options can save you considerable time on research.
Let us help you avoid caregiver burnout – call the team at My Senior Health Plan today and learn about all the insurance options available to give you and your loved one superior care at an affordable cost.