Carer burnout is common, especially among those who are the sole carers for ageing family members. If you’re burned out, you may be less effective at your caring duties, and you’ll need to take steps to help you feel better. Here are some actions you can take to ensure the caring experience is mutually rewarding for both you and your loved one.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep deprivation can lead to depression, anxiety, muscle pain, and a suppressed immune system. When you don’t get adequate sleep, it may lead to chronic fatigue and subsequent burnout, and you won’t have enough energy to effectively care for your loved one. Make sure you go to bed at a decent hour, avoid caffeinated beverages and heavy meals before bedtime, take a warm shower or bath an hour or two before retiring, and turn off your electronics a couple of hours before going to sleep. These strategies ensure you get enough restorative sleep so you can face the next day with more enthusiasm and energy.
Schedule Fun Time
Failing to make time for yourself to socialise or have fun could lead to carer burnout. If you’re the only carer for your loved one, ask a trusted friend or family member to stay with him or her for a few hours so you can get out of the house. Balancing your caring duties with enjoyable activities—such as going to the movies, having dinner with friends, shopping, visiting a museum, or simply taking a nature walk—may put you in a better frame of mind and boost your mood.
If you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed by your caring responsibilities, remember you don’t have to manage everything all on your own. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caring duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Erina elder care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide.
Following a poor diet could cause you to develop a nutritional deficiency. If you don’t consume enough foods rich in vitamin C or vitamin D, your risk for depression, anxiety, illness, infection, and carer burnout may rise. Make sure to eat foods such as citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, and fresh fish. If you’re unable to tolerate these foods because of dietary restrictions or because they don’t agree with you, talk to your doctor about taking supplements. Once your nutritional deficiencies have been corrected, you’ll feel stronger, have more energy, and enjoy a better attitude, which can lower your risk for carer burnout.
Family carers don’t have to risk their own wellbeing to make sure their loved ones continue to receive high-quality care. Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family carers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Erina families rely on our care workers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
Seek Professional Assistance
If you’re experiencing carer burnout despite your best efforts to avoid it, talk to a mental health professional. Simply discussing your concerns with a counselor may be enough to put you in a better frame of mind so you have a more positive attitude when it comes to your caring responsibilities. If you fail to feel better after consulting with a mental health professional, ask another family member to take over your caring duties so you can take a break. If nobody is available to pitch in, consider the services of a respite care worker, who can take care of your loved one for a short time while you focus on your needs.
For family carers who are at risk of burnout, hiring a professional care worker can provide a much-needed source of support. When you search for a professional care worker, you’re looking for someone with experience in senior care who’s compassionate and trustworthy. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior care. Erina families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for ageing adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family carers who need a break from their caring duties. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caring for your ageing loved one. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (02) 4363 5090 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.