Although caring for an aging loved one is a rewarding experience, it comes with many challenges. These can sometimes take a toll on one’s health, resulting in caregiver burnout. The key to preventing the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion is to know its triggers. Here are the common causes of caregiver burnout and ways to address them:
1. Fear of the Future
You’re the one who’s most aware of your loved one’s condition and what could happen to them in the next months or years. In fact, you probably know more than your aging relative.
Many caregivers are fearful about their loved ones getting more frail, fighting through mood changes, or struggling through Alzheimer’s. The best way to address this anxiety is to take it one day at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with tomorrow’s worries. Direct all your energies to what your loved one needs today, so you can give the best care possible.
Aging relatives often need constant supervision, either because they experience loneliness when you’re not around or they can’t do everyday routines because of Alzheimer’s. This may feel like you’re tied to the responsibility all the time, keeping you from enjoying the company of friends and other relatives.
In such cases, Senior Helpers recommends considering respite Alzheimer’s care programs. This will allow you to have that time for yourself and at the same time, have the peace of mind that your relatives are well taken care of even when you’re not around. It’s advisable to get respite care services at least once a month, so you can take a break. Rest is important for caregivers, so recharge every now and then to be better at caring for your loved one.
Caregivers sometimes blame themselves for their loved ones’ condition. They feel that what they’re doing isn’t enough to make their relatives comfortable, or those caring for people who have illness feel that they haven’t stepped in early on that the condition has gotten worse already. None of this is your fault. Practice acceptance. Know that there are things beyond your control. The sooner you accept this reality, the better you can focus on what your loved one needs.
Are you experiencing caregiver burnout? Talk to someone about it. Take a break once in a while. Remember, you can only give the care you experience yourself.