A recent study funded by the Family Caregiver Alliance found around 25 percent of all family caregivers meet the criteria for major depression. Caring for an aging loved one is no easy task, and you need to find ways to preserve your physical, mental, and emotional health. Here is a look at six steps you can take to reduce your risk of caregiver burnout.
1. Set Aside Time for Yourself
One of the most effective ways to reset your emotions and enhance your overall wellbeing is to set aside some time for yourself every day. Meditating for 15 minutes each morning or going for a short walk at the end of the day will flood your body with serotonin, dopamine, and other feel-good chemicals. You also need to schedule longer breaks for yourself once every month or two so you can fully clear your mind.
If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elder care, Plantation Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
2. Use Respite Care
Without some assistance, taking time off can be challenging. Even if you have a supportive family, your loved one might need a little extra help from a trained caregiver. Hiring a respite caregiver for a few hours every week gives you time to run errands, socialize with friends, or simply relax at home. During these breaks, you won’t have to worry about your loved one’s wellbeing because you know he or she will be in good hands.
In Plantation, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.
3. Stay Connected with Friends
Humans are social creatures, and those who don’t interact with friends and peers experience anxiety and depression. Heading out to dinner or going to the movies a few times a month could completely transform your attitude and boost your happiness. Grabbing a quick cup of coffee every week with a close friend might be enough to keep you focused.
4. Ask Others for Help
Family caregivers are generally selfless people, and many of them never even consider asking their family members for help. Creating a support team will allow you to pass off some of your responsibilities so you can continue to provide good care. Having a spouse or sibling make a few meals every week or run some errands could free up hours of your time.
5. Join a Support Network
There are many support groups specifically designed for people who are taking care of aging loved ones. You might be able to find a local support group at a nearby hospital, medical center, or senior center. Search the internet for online support groups that interact through forums and messaging programs.
6. Recommit Yourself to Healthy Lifestyle Practices
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercising for 20 or 30 minutes a day is one of the most effective ways to combat depression. You also need to stick to a healthy diet so your body has enough fuel for long days. If you’ve never dieted or exercised before, speak with a certified trainer or dietitian who can help you come up with a comprehensive training plan.
Families who need additional assistance caring for an elderly loved one should consider hiring a professional caregiver. Seniors and their families trust Home Care Assistance Plantation to provide high-quality in-home care on an as-needed basis. Our caregivers take pride in helping seniors remain healthy while promoting their quality of life. Call us at (954) 533-2410 to schedule a free in-home consultation.