Millions of Americans donate their time and talents to care for aging friends and relatives each year. As the days go by and the added stress of caregiving builds, many informal caregivers run the risk of developing a condition known as caregiver burnout. When left unaddressed, the mental, physical, and emotional toll of caregiver burnout can lower the quality of life of both caregiver and care recipient. Thankfully, avoiding caregiver burnout is possible by taking these steps.
Caregiver Burnout Warning Signs
As a caregiver, it’s common to feel powerless and frustrated. There are days when it seems like no matter how hard you try, your loved one’s condition keeps getting worse. When that happens, the tendency is to invest more and more time into their care. If you’re not careful, at some point, those emotional ups and downs can trigger caregiver burnout.
These are some of the classic warning signs of caregiver burnout:
- Feeling mentally and physically drained all the time
- Sleeping not enough or too much
- Anxiety and depression
- Constantly feeling worried or overwhelmed
- Disinterest in activities once enjoyed
- Lack of exercise
- Rapid weight loss or gain
- Substance abuse including prescription meds
What Is Respite Care?
Caring for someone who’s elderly, sick, or disabled can be a 24-hour job. Every so often, you’ll need to take some time off to look after your own needs. Respite care is a commonly used term that describes a temporary break for caregivers. Those caregiving breaks can be as long or short as you need for them to be, whether it’s a few hours, days, weeks, or longer.
Where Can I Find Caregiver Relief?
Once caregiver burnout sets in, it places your health and personal relationships at risk. Thankfully, staying refreshed and recharged is possible by following these tips:
Recruit family members
Oftentimes when one adult child is caring for an elderly parent, the other siblings assume that everything is OK. If you’ve been taking care of dad all by yourself for months, call up your family members and ask them to fill in for a while. Hold a family meeting and split up the caregiving responsibilities based on the talents and time of each caregiving team member – like preparing meals for dad or transporting mom to the doctor. While in the home, ask each team member to monitor progress and communicate what they’ve observed.
If you find yourself stranded on a caregiving “island,” another option is adult daycare. For a fee, these centers cater to seniors by providing light assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), along with social activities on a daily or weekly basis.
Respite care programs
Many communities offer programs and services specifically designed to give informal caregivers a break, or “respite.” Those can be found through the ARCH National Respite Network Locator. You can also locate respite care sources via the Family Care Navigator or your local chapter of the Agency on Aging.
Senior transportation services
Losing their driving privileges not only deals a serious blow to your senior’s independence but also gives you one more thing to worry about. Many larger communities offer public transportation and paratransit services for elderly riders at discounted rates. Setting up your senior with a ride-sharing service is also a good way to give yourself a well-deserved break.
Professional respite caregiver
Like other forms of senior care, in-home respite care relies on the assistance of professional caregivers that provide a wide range of personal care services to support aging or ill adults and their families. Respite care needs vary, from a few hours a day or week to 24-hour, around-the-clock care.
Professional in-home respite caregivers are highly trained to perform these services:
- Light personal care, such as bathing and grooming
- Socialization, including conversation and companionship
- Meal preparation and cooking
- Running errands
- Medication management
- Dementia care
Your Trusted Respite Care Source in Raleigh-Durham, NC
When you’re ready to take a well-deserved break, finding a professional respite caregiver you can trust isn’t always easy. At HomeChoice Home Care Solutions, we deliver peace of mind to clients and their families by providing compassionate and dependable in-home care that’s second to none. Our top-notch caregivers and office staff provide personal levels of care that will make you and your loved one feel like family – because you are.
At HomeChoice Home Care Solutions, our mission is to enrich the lives of those we serve by providing caring, compassionate, and wellness-focused in-home care within a supportive environment that allows everyone involved to thrive. To schedule a FREE Care Consultation for a senior in Raleigh, Durham, or Cary, NC, today, please visit us at www.homechoicehomecare.com.