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Caregivers Need a Little TLC

By Michelle Cemental

Caring for aging loved ones isn’t a sprint. It is a marathon that can last for many years. Falling into the trap of excessive care giving is easy. Over the course of care giving, care takers can easily become overly stressed and neglect their own self-care while suffering in silence.

Signs of Caregiver Burnout

It is important for caregivers to notice the signs of burnout to avoid their own declining health, financial stability, or overall emotional well-being. If you or you know someone who is providing care for an aging loved one look out for these signs of caregiver burnout:

  • Lack of sleep, or inability to stay asleep

  • Irritable – getting into more arguments than usual

  • Feelings of hopelessness or more discouraged than normal

  • Withdrawal from your social network or isolation

  • Change in appetite

Treating Caregiver Burnout with TLC

If you or a loved one is experiencing any or all of these symptoms, here are a few suggestions to help.

  • If possible, share responsibilities with family members. You have to accept the fact that you cannot do everything yourself, otherwise you’ll end up being the one that needs to be cared for. It is okay to ask for help.

  • Find a support group or network. Many people are in the same boat as you. Find the group that is the right fit for you. Openly share your feelings and experiences with others.

  • Speak with someone you trust that is outside the situation. Bottling all your tension up can lead to angry outbursts. It’s always good to hear things from an outside perspective, especially from someone not directly involved in your situation.

  • Put time into taking care of yourself emotionally and physically. Be sure to get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet and get some sort of exercise each day.

  • Take a break, or take some time for yourself. Meditate, get a massage, see a movie — whatever does it for you. Just do it!

  • Stay involved in hobbies or other outside interests.

Providing care to a loved one can be very taxing on our lives. Make sure you provide yourself a little TLC or else you will find yourself needing care. Knowledge and planning will help you manage your life, and be able to provide care to your loved one. It’s your future. Be in control.

Learn more about how to recognize and avoid caregiver burnout in our Caregiver Stress Fact Sheet

Learn the Facts to avoid Caregiver Stress

Michelle Cemental Blog Author

Tags: Caregivers

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