Avoiding Caregiver Burnout with Comfort Keepers
Learn more about avoiding family caregiver burnout with Temecula in home care.
According to WebMD, family caregiver burnout is "a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude -- from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don't get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able -- either physically or financially."
Avoiding Caregiver Burnout in Temecula, CA
The result of caregiver burnout is often very serious. Studies show that caregivers are twice as likely to develop chronic physical and mental medical conditions as non-caregivers. Further, the stress of caregiving often leads to the hospitalization, or worse, of the caregiver. Researchers at Stanford found that the majority of long-term family caregivers have a higher mortality rate than non-caregivers, and "40 percent of Alzheimer's caregivers die from stress-related disorders before the patient dies".
The good news is that burnout can be avoided and even reversed. Today, let's take a look at four ways to limit or eliminate family caregiver burnout.
Admit you need help. It has often been said that the first step to getting help is admitting you need it. In caregiving circles, there is another adage, "The best way to be an effective caregiver is to care for the caregiver.” Once they acknowledge their need for support, the rest come rather easily.
Take a break. The single most effective way of eliminating or reversing the effects of burnout is to take time off from caregiving. Many family caregivers feel guilty about taking time away, but to not do so limits the effectiveness of care and may even lead to the senior being worse off if the caregiver ends up in the hospital or dies. The best news is that breaks do not need to be long to be effective. Frequent one to three-day breaks have been shown to work wonders both physically and emotionally. To ensure a senior is properly cared for during a respite break, in home care providers like Comfort Keepers provide comprehensive, in home respite care services.
Keep your medical and dental appointments. While visiting the doctor or dentist may not be the most exciting use of a rare respite break, it may save your life. The stress of caregiving is no laughing matter. In fact, long-term care significantly lowers a person's immunity making them more susceptible to germs, bacteria, and viruses. Once sick, the immune system is further weakened and the downward spiral has begun. Being proactive with your health and catching conditions before they become serious is not just good for the caregiver but for the senior as well.
Exercise. Of all the things you can do with your spare time, exercise probably has the most far-reaching effects. Exercise is good for the emotions, brain, heart, lungs, and, really, every major system of the body. Not only does exercise release endorphins, which make you feel better, but exercise lowers stress and anxiety – a major component of burnout. Exercise also fights the release of cortisol– a key contributor to increased blood sugar levels, obesity, loss of bone mass, loss of collagen (weakening joints and increasing wrinkles), slowing the healing of wounds, and weakening memory and cognition.
In short, family caregiver burnout is a very serious condition, but if you make the effort to take some time off and take care of yourself, keeping life in balance, burnout can be avoided or reversed. If you are in need of professional in home care support for your senior loved one while you are taking time off, just give a Comfort Keepers senior care coordinator a call.
Comfort Keepers Home Care is proud to serve the following areas of California:
Office Location: 41593 Winchester Rd, Suite 200, Temecula, CA 92590