How Do You Deal With Caregiver Burnout: 5 Strategies

Make no mistake: Caregiver burnout is very real. Ignoring its implications can result in increased levels of stress that can take a toll on your own health. So how do you deal with caregiver burnout? Don’t worry, at Brookstone, we’ve got some useful information and strategies to help you.

What Is Caregiver Distress/Burnout?

Caregiver distress, sometimes referred to as caregiver burnout, occurs when the emotional and physical challenges of caring for someone become overwhelming. It’s more common among those who do not meet their own needs, but instead concentrate on meeting the needs for others.

How Do You Deal With Caregiver Burnout: 5 Strategies

Caregiver burnout takes its toll on you mentally, physically and emotionally. Failure to cope with it can pave the way to serious health problems and may lead to depression.

Following are some tips on how to deal with caregiver burnout:

1. Accept Help

Acknowledge that you cannot be everything for everybody. If a friend or family member offers help, be sure to take them up on it. Even simple things—such as grocery shopping or running errands—can be a big help.

2. Be Realistic

Often, you’ll not be able to accomplish everything on your “to do” list. That’s okay. Remember, you’re doing the best you can with the situation at hand and the resources you have available. It may help to break large tasks into small steps.

Also realize that your loved one may no longer be able to do the things they once did. This means you may need to adjust your expectations and goals for them.

3. Learn to Say No

If you are receiving requests that are physically or mentally draining, say no. Maybe this is the time to let someone else do the holiday cooking or party planning.

4. Join Support Groups

There are several resources for caregivers—and there may be a support group in your community.  You are not alone, and these groups can provide the assurance and non-judgmental interaction you need.

Of course, you don’t need to necessarily join a support group to access the care and encouragement you need. Your family and friends may be able to provide assistance and a listening ear as well.

5. How Do You Deal With Caregiver Burnout? Take Care of Yourself

It’s far too easy to let your needs go to the back burner. Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, and taking breaks. You may even look into respite care to give you a reprieve from caregiving for a parent. Set personal care goals and make sure you work toward them.

What Are the Signs of Caregiver Distress?

Signs of caregiver burnout may vary from person to person, but in general, they may include:

  • Gaining weight
  • Losing weight (without making an effort to do so)
  • Anger or irritability
  • Sleeping too much or not getting enough sleep
  • Sadness; depression
  • Losing interest in things once enjoyed
  • Physical problems such as headaches and other bodily pain
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs

If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s important that you understand how to deal with caregiver burnout and follow some of the tips we outlined above.

How Do You Give a Caregiver a Break?

Perhaps you’re not the one doing the caregiving, but someone you love is taking care of their parents or spouse. There are several ways you can help them and keep them from developing caregiver distress or burnout.

For example, you should consider:

  • Running errands, even if it’s a simple run to the grocery store.
  • Offering to sit with the parent while your loved one takes a much-needed break.
  • Listening to their needs without judgment, providing a support system for them.
  • Asking them what they need—sometimes what they need may be different from what you think they need.

Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing at Brook Stone in Pollocksville Can Help You Avoid Caregiver Burnout

How do you deal with caregiver burnout? There are many ways. At their center is the importance of taking care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be effective in helping other people.

Another option to consider is an assisted living community in Pollocksville, such as Brook Stone.

At Brook Stone, we offer both assisted living and skilled nursing. So, whether your loved one just needs a helping hand now and again or if they need more intense nursing care, our friendly, compassionate staff is there for you.

By caring for your loved ones, we enable you to step back into your role as son, daughter or spouse.

Want to learn more? Contact us for tour information.