Ways to Avoid Care Giver Burn Out

Caring for a loved one can be a rewarding feeling. You give of yourself for someone who is in need. However, it can cause people to feel rundown, stressed and possibly get sick themselves. I used to hear from time to time that the sick person survives the caregiver. I have seen that thru experiences  in my life. What can we do about? 
Here are my 5 suggestions:
1. Learn about the condition or illness. The more you know about the condition, the more prepared you can be to solve any problems that may arise. You will have the resources and tools within reach. Knowing what to expect can lower your stress level and anxiety. You will be able to understand what your loved one is going thru and communication will be better.
2. Ask for help. Have a family member or friend watch over your loved one so you can have a break.  Also, several assisted  living communities  offer respite care for a loved one so the caregiver can take a vacation or take a few days off . Everyone who is a caregiver needs a break and one should not feel guilty doing so.  It will make you a better caregiver. Also, joining a support group can unload some of the stress and grief that one is experiencing realizing that you are not alone gives one solace.  

3. Take Small breaks  . Go outside for a walk and take deep breaths or relax in the backyard. Read a book or watch a video. Just taking a break and removing yourself from the environment can improve your well-being.

4. Stay in Good health  . So many times, I see the caregiver making sure that the loved one is eating properly and taking their vitamins , etc. and totally neglecting themselves. You are not a machine. Get regular health and dental checkups. Eat healthy meals and snacks. Exercise can lower stress and increase your energy . Have regular sleep patterns. Again, seek support groups to help relieve mental stress.

5. Stay Positive-avoid being negative. It is not always easy but a positive attitude can help you be a better caregiver. You also offer dignity to your loved one and they will feel safer and loved. You will feel good that you are doing the best that you can even if your loved one cannot respond to you or is indifferent.

Care giving is a huge responsibility and not everyone can do it. I hope this article helps you . Again, if it becomes overwhelming, please ask for help.